Using noted figures of the period such as writer Jane Austen, aristocrat, poet, and politician Lord Byron and French statesman Napoleon Bonaparte, Professor Morrison deconstructs the period and changes that would forever affect Britain as we know it to be today.
I liked this book. It was a deep dive into a period that I thought I knew a lot about. I was wrong. This book took me into the intricacies and details of the Regency era that would only be known to someone who lived in that time or a modern historian who had done their homework.
I will say, however, that this book is not for everyone. It is for someone like me who wants to know more about the period outside of the novels of the era. Or, it can be used for academic purposes. But it does not read like a dry college textbook. Professor Morrison writes in such a way that the reader is quickly absorbed and taught about the Regency era without feeling like they are in a lecture hall.
In Cindy Anstey’s 2017 novel, Duels & Deception, Lydia Whitfield has laid out her life at the young age of 17. Her late father not only named Lydia’s Uncle as her guardian, but has also chosen her husband. She expects to marry her chosen husband and life as a woman of high society in the Regency era ought to. But this heiress will soon learn that her plans are about to change.
Robert Newton is a young law clerk who works for the Whitfield family solicitor. Lydia has asked Robert to write out the marriage contract between herself and her future husband. Then both are kidnapped by someone who not only want’s Lydia’s fortune, but also wants to sully her reputation. As Lydia and Robert work together to find the culprit and the reason for the kidnapping, they start to become more than an heiress and a law clerk. Now the question is, will Lydia go through with her carefully laid plans or will she choose another path?
I really enjoyed this book. It’s not exactly intellectually heavy, but that’s ok. It’s light, romantic and a fun read. I especially appreciated that Lydia is not the average romantic heroine. She is smart, has a sharp tongue and has no problem taking charge when push come to shove. While there was some phrasing that was a little too modern for my taste, the author does an excellent job of telling the story while staying true to life in the Regency era.