First glance at this very well-presented volume might suggest that it is an up-market historical novel. The sub-title, ‘Love, loss and scandal in Regency England’ will not alter that view. However, once immersed and you have read the introduction, all will be revealed. Catherine is to be envied. She is rich, comes from an aristocratic family, has a sweet temperament and an appearance to cause most gentlemen to swoon. She must be - and is - the Angel. The Cad - and this is the hinge on which the main structure of the true story turns - is the man she falls in love with. He exploits every aspect to his own advantage.
You would have thought he’d be happy with such a delightful creature. On the contrary, he beds every susceptible woman in sight. Catherine forgives him, tries her hardest for reconciliation for the sake of her three children (to no avail) and eventually sees her lovely Wanstead mansion demolished to help pay off his debts. Poor girl; she lives in an age when women seeking divorce are up against the law and that does not allow mothers custody of their children either.
This is a very enticingly written and well researched account with some interesting revelations so, even if factual books aren’t your thing, be brave, for you will not regret the read. If you watched the re-run of the ‘Duchess of Devonshire’, there will be some very familiar lines too. Riveting stuff!
“Ladies - did you know how difficult it once was to obtain a divorce? That wives were once seen as ‘owned’ by their husbands? It’s a very topical subject . . .”
Review by Bruce Edwards
RRP (Hardback): £20
Posted on 23/08/2015
by Jack Fabian