28.9.14

THE NEW COUNTESS, by Fay Weldon

3 (final)/series. England, 1903. When Robert, Lord Dilberne, casually invites the King Edward VII for a fall shoot on his estate, he really doesn't expect the monarch to accept. But he does, and throws Lady Isobel into a complete panic. The stately forty-bedroom pile is dilapidated and must be brought up to the standards of the king's long-time mistress, Mrs. Keppel. The Dilberne bank account is a little shaky, but one never shows that one is slowly sliding down the drain, so Isobel flings herself into the high-end world of stately home renewal.  Click below for more. . .
Meanwhile, the Dilberne heir, Arthur and his Chicago-born wife Minnie have produced the expected heir and a spare (Arthur actually calls his second son "Spare" from time to time) but Minnie's ideas of raising sons clash with the Countess and her strict, getting-befuddled, long-term nanny. Minnie fears the day when James will be sent to boarding school. English wives of a certain class expect their husbands to stray; once the heirs are produced; many wives even seek romance, discretely, of course. When American Minnie, feeling even more alien than usual, finds her husband in his office staring lustfully up at a disheveled young visitor, she reacts extravagantly and leaves. With catastrophic results. The author wrote the original Upstairs-Downstairs script. This trilogy will sweep you into the glittering Edwardian era and keep you pinned there until the final line. A marvelous 5.
Find the author at www.fayweldon.com.uk
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