Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Country Gentleman
Whenever I'm in a thrift store or used bookstore, I look for traditional Regency romances, the older the better. One of my recent finds was The Country Gentleman (Dinah Dean, 1986), a pastoral tale of English village life in 1807--with some soldiers, including a brief cameo by the future Duke of Wellington, smugglers, and a spy, just to spice things up a little. Dean really, really knows her stuff, whether it's bell-ringing or details of relatively obscure campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars, and I enjoyed the rich, three-dimensional world she created. As a history geek, it's always a pleasure to find a writer who shares some of my obsessions and introduces me to a few of her own. That said, the romance takes a back seat to the period piece aspects of the story. I didn't mind, but many readers might.