Genre: Historical Fiction. Challenge: None, personal referral, BBAW 2010 Forgotten Treasure. Source: Community Library
When I was last in the hospital for a quick in/out procedure, I asked the prep nurse if she had read any good books lately. She said, “Yes, Lady’s Maid. I can’t remember who wrote it but it was really good!” Somehow, I managed to remember the title and later put it on my goodreads.com TO BE READ list. When we were prompted with the post idea for the BBAW Forgotten Treasure, this is the book that came to my, even though I had not yet read it. I do recall thinking it odd that I could not find many if any reviews online in my corner of the book-blogosphere so that is why I chose to highlight this. Doing this prompted me to search the interlibrary loan service and reserve it. I tend to read my library books right away – I’m not one to check out a ton of books at one time. I’m quite monogamous in my reading habits.
I also tend to ramble on posts like this when I fail to write a review in a timely manner. Yep, I turned the book in already. DARN. I also think that I failed to read the Introduction! I meant to do that.
If you’re still here reading this (wouldn’t it be interesting to have stats tell us how many people skim a first paragraph and then wander off?) then I can only tell you a bit of plot, that I enjoyed it very much, and point you to a better blog’s review. And then call it a day. I have a new puppy, you may recall, and she is a cute little time suck…
This novel introduces the reader to the imagined life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s maid, ‘Wilson’. Historical facts have shown when she first became employed and that she never (quite) left her mistress. She was a witness to EBB’s elopement with poet Robert Browning, travels with them to Italy and had a super-dooper relationship with their son, Pen. (READ the END NOTES.) Lots more happens, of course.
Margaret Forster gives a fascinating (if not long, ahem) look at the life and employment practices in the mid-1800’s, England AND Italy.
I enjoyed it. I have no clue how or what to say more. Honestly, I’m not all that impressed by Ms. Elizabeth. She comes off a tad on the bitchy manipulative side of the fence when it comes to being her maid’s BFF and then so easily dismissive. But alas, such were the times?
Amanda of Zen Leaf has reviewed a book that also looks at the life of Mr. and Mrs. Browning, but through the adventures of their dog, Flush. oh! and Flush is written by Virginia Woolf!! I can’t tell you how much that intrigues me. Maybe I just did. I’m wishlisting this for a read someday and I also want to tackle Aurora Leigh by EBB. I don’t have much interest in Robert Browning, actually.
Well-written, engaging, lively, with depth.
Do read Litlove’s review, Masters and Servants, at Tales From the Reading Room. I’m telling you, again. GO READ LITLOVE.. 🙂