Read Lo scandalo della stagione by Sophie Gee Serena Prina Online


L'estate del 1711 sta per finire in Inghilterra e già si annuncia la saison londinese, la stagione dei balli e dei ricevimenti: giorni cruciali per accasarsi, stringere nuove amicizie, sognare imprevedibili risalite sociali o tramare insospettabili congiure. La regina Anna, protestante ma discendente dagli Stuart, è saldamente sul trono, e i cattolici si avventurano di nuoL'estate del 1711 sta per finire in Inghilterra e già si annuncia la saison londinese, la stagione dei balli e dei ricevimenti: giorni cruciali per accasarsi, stringere nuove amicizie, sognare imprevedibili risalite sociali o tramare insospettabili congiure. La regina Anna, protestante ma discendente dagli Stuart, è saldamente sul trono, e i cattolici si avventurano di nuovo tra le strade della capitale, dalla quale anni addietro sono stati ignobilmente scacciati con la legge delle Dieci Miglia. Qualcuno sogna il ritorno di un monarca Stuart, e cospira segretamente per riportare in Inghilterra Giacomo III, ma la maggior parte dei cattolici sembra occuparsi di un solo nobile scopo: prendere parte alla saison. Così è, ad esempio, per Alexander Pope, giovane rampollo di una famiglia cattolica rifugiatasi a Binfield. A quattordici anni, Alexander si è gravemente ammalato e le lunghe notti di coma febbricitante gli hanno lasciato la schiena curva e una sensibilità fuori del comune. Scrive poesie e spera ardentemente di diventare un poeta così famoso da essere accolto a braccia aperte da Teresa Blount il giorno in cui la chiederà in sposa. Ma Teresa, bella e impertinente nipote di Sir Anthony, non lo degna di alcuna considerazione. Nutre l'aperta speranza di accasarsi a un buon partito grazie e, alla saison, teme soltanto la comparsa della bella cugina Arabella Fermor. Quello che Teresa non sa è che il cuore di Arabella è già di uno dei giovani più ambiti di Londra: Lord Robert Petre...

Title : Lo scandalo della stagione
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788854502086
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 386 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lo scandalo della stagione Reviews

  • Carolynn
    2019-03-25 06:48

    I bought this book on the strength of good reviews in the press, and was left disappointed. I too nearly put it down unfinished, which I have only very rarely done. A reviewer on Amazon asked why the book doesn't work, when Sophie Gee has a PhD in 18C literature and a clear passion for her subject - I think that's why. To me this book is an example of how not to turn an academic thesis and course of lectures into a novel.Unfortunately, Ms Gee is intent on proving that this 'is not Austen' and to that end inserts vignettes of 18C life from her thesis or her wider reading that add nothing to character or plot development ie the hogman driving his herd of pigs through the theatre going crowd, the overheard snatches of servants' conversation. They jar and jolt the reader away from the story - perhaps this was her intent? The 18C is contemporary yet not?I was convinced neither by the love story nor the Jacobite plotting - there was no sense of frisson in the former nor real threat in the latter - only four years after the novel is set the Old Pretender did mount an invasion. I feel this is because the author was aware that she was dealing with historical personalities and felt unable to write speech and behaviours for them which the trained historian in her could not justify through surviving texts. The plot only really got going in the last 50 or so pages, out of a 300 page novel - the pacing could have been better, and in the hands of a more experienced author it could have merited a longer treatment.Sadly, the author could not resist the temptation to sprinkle the text with 'in jokes' about the personalities and literature of the time: Pope's meeting with Mary Wortley Montague [Pierrepont in the novel] is one of many. I have a little knowledge of the times and found this tedious.I see that Sophie Gee has now published her thesis - I think it would be the better, more entertaining book, but I do hope she develops as a novelist and has the courage to cast aside her historical training and find her own voice, sadly lacking in this book.

  • Sarah Mac
    2019-03-04 00:43

    Nope. I yield. I've had this book for too long. It was a bargain-bin type thing I picked up 8+ years ago, & I should've attempted it back when it was new & shiny on my shelf -- because then I might actually have cared. Nowadays, I can safely attest to ZERO interest in Alexander Pope wandering around London to have conversations with various historical and/or fictional personages involved in the possible Catholic overthrow of the monarchy -- not to mention a thinly veiled novelization of the author's thesis on (or, at the very least, lifelong leisure study of) the genesis of The Rape of the Lock. The prose itself isn't bad, weirdly enough, but there's just NOTHING HAPPENING. Bye-bye. Standard 2-star DNF.

  • Allie
    2019-03-08 02:45

    You can read this review on my blog, here.The Scandal of the Seasonby Sophie GeeThey say one should never judge a book by its cover, but the cover art on the latest paperback release of this book just screams “bodice ripper,” and I couldn’t help but assume that its content would likely follow suit. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that not only did this book cover a wide range of historical figures, but also, it was very well written! Gee really captured the essence of 18th Century England: full of religious strife, class struggles, society parties, Jacobite plots, and of course, romantic intrigue.One of my favorite movies of all time is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, its title derived from a line in Alexander Pope’s poem “Eloisa to Abelard,” which also comes up in the movie. When I first saw this film, I ran to Borders to pick up a copy of Pope’s poems, which I had studied in school briefly but not really paid much attention to. I became interested in Pope as a person and have always wanted to know what drove him to finally write satirically, as his earlier works are much more serious in tone than his later.The Scandal of the Season answered my question ten-fold. Gee was able to intertwine Alexander Pope’s story seamlessly with the rest of the novel: Pope is a talented poet but an outsider to London society, who manages to work his way “in” as he observes these peculiar subjects and their frivolous ways, ultimately satirizing the ridiculousness of this “fashionable set” in what would become his most famous poem yet, “The Rape of the Lock”. Throughout his stay in London, Pope meets such literary greats as Richard Steele, Jonathan Swift, and John Gay. I truly felt after reading this book that I had gained some insight into the lives of some of history’s most well respected writers, and the times that shaped their writings.The back-story of this book is the love affair between Lord Petre, Baron of Ingatestone, and Arabella Fermor, the most beautiful girl in London. When Lord Petre’s well-to-do family learns of the affair, they chastise him for falling for Arabella, whom they deem an ill-suited match for the Baron. They manipulate him into forsaking his beloved, forcing him to embarrass her publicly in order to ensure that the connection between the two of them be forever severed. My complaint about this novel, and the reason why I’m giving it a rating of 4/6 Wives of Henry VIII, is that something about the relationship between Arabella and Lord Petre just seemed a bit off to me. It was all about “the chase” in the beginning, but then once they were actually together, their chemistry seemed to fizzle. Arabella and Lord Petre as characters fell a bit flat. Their love saga just seemed to lag and drag on a bit, without really growing as a relationship at all. I found the characters on Pope’s end of the story had much more depth, while the others were not nearly as well developed.Aside from the lackluster couple, I really did enjoy the way this book was written and Alexander Pope’s part in the tale. Gee’s tongue-in-cheek writing style echoed Pope’s sardonic sentiment the whole way through, giving a real sense of how ordinary folk must have felt back in those days, watching as women fretted hysterically over which pair of gloves would be better suited to the day’s outfit, as if the wrong choice in stylish accoutrements could ruin one’s life entirely. I hope Sophie Gee will write another novel, she has a lot of talent as a writer and her knowledge of 18th century history really impressed me. With some fine-tuning, she could easily become a fantastic novelist.

  • Laurie
    2019-03-03 05:31

    The saving grace of this book was that it included the text of "The Rape of the Lock" in the back, meaning I got to read it again, which was great, because it is awesome and hilarious. And it was fun learning a bit about the backstory. Beyond that, though, that I found this novel's pacing and dialogue and, well, prose in general consistently awkward and affected. Way too much telling, not enough showing. I know that writing historical fiction entirely through the eyes of actual figures can't be a walk in the park, but still. The characterizations lack depth and humanity. As a reader I felt not at all invested in the signature love story, the Catholic takeover plot always seemed too farcical to have any suspense, and even the climatic hair-cutting scene lacked, well, much of a climax.Of course, there is the possibility that I am misjudging this work entirely. Given its setting in the age of the artificial, could this novel's overwhelming affectedness and self-consciousness not be some sort of elaborate conceit, a sort of meta-commentary on post-Restoration literature and culture? Ha.

  • Claire
    2019-03-20 01:38

    Mah, mi è sembrata un po' un'occasione sprecata. Non c'è stato il tempo né il modo di approfondire i personaggi, e quindi non ho potuto più di tanto interessarmi alle loro vicende: non ho sentito affetto, preoccupazione, pietà, speranza per Arabella, non ho aspettato con ansia che Alexander ottenesse il suo meritato successo. La storia è affascinante e avrebbe meritato molto di più - mi sono quasi più diverita a leggere la sorte dei personaggi nella vita reale alla fine del libro, e penso che questa vicenda sarebbe stata raccontata meglio in versione non-fiction: il periodo storico lo conosco poco (e in generale tutta l'epoca post-Tudor e pre-Georgiana) ma ultimamente avevo una mezza idea di leggere una biografia della regina Anna, e non mi sarebbe dispiaciuto immergermi in quell'atmosfera.Sicuramente mi è piaciuta l'ambientazione nell'alta società londinese, ma avrei voluto che l'autrice passasse più tempo a parlarmi di questi personaggi. Alla fine il risultato è quello di un period drama che si guarda più che altro per vedere i costumi, le carrozze, e le case in Grosvenor Square, ma la cui trama si dimentica in fretta.Non mi pento di averci speso tre euro ma, dato che in generale apprezzo molto la Vintage, mi sarei aspettata qualcosa in più (più Jane Austen e meno Tracy Chevalier, diciamo, ma non a caso questo romanzo in Italia è pubblicato da Neri Pozza).

  • Catyche
    2019-03-13 22:41

    This was a wonderful and satisfying read. The book follows the life of author and poet Alexander Pope as he goes to London to find his fortune. It's a fictionalized (but well researched) account of how he came to write the poem that made his name "The Rape of the Lock." The book also follows Alexander's friends Martha and Teresea who too have come to London to make matches, as well as Arabella Fermor and Lord Petre, (the principals in "The Rape of the Lock" who go by the name of Belinda and The Baron in the poem). While most of the book was lovely, the epilogue was not. It was an example of an author overcoming the novel and its characters to make a point that just didn't make sense given the short period of time that the book covered. Also, several scenes discussing slavery were upsetting though to be expected given that the book is based in 18th century England before the abolishment of slavery. Other than that, great, great book.

  • Kristie
    2019-02-25 23:38

    If you like period pieces and Dangerous Liasons the movie you will love it! Even better, it is based on actual events of the early 1700's. The poem "The Rape of the Lock" was written about this same set of events by Alexander Pope - a character in the novel. At the end, the author sums up what happens to the actual people.

  • Misfit
    2019-02-24 05:57

    I got about 30 pages into it and it wasn't working for me. Went to the reviews on Amazon and got my answer. Not worth the time.9/18/15. Lookee here.

  • Chris
    2019-03-19 05:55

    I love "The Rape of the Lock" but this book is really dull and too modern, and, quite frankly, I didn't like the writing. Show me someone is proud, don't tell me over and over and over again.

  • Georgiana 1792
    2019-03-19 01:48

    La storia del poema Il ricciolo rapitoProtagonista di questo romanzo è Alexander Pope, lo scrittore che è al terzo posto fra i più citati della letteratura inglese, dopo Shakespeare e Tennyson. Il libro — ricostruendo l’ambiente storico in cui si muoveva Pope, con accuratezza di dettagli — narra i primi passi del poeta nel mondo della poesia e la genesi del suo celeberrimo poema satirico Il ricciolo rapito (Rape of the lock 1712), in cui Pope descrive con stile epico — il poeta è noto anche per aver tradotto in lingua inglese l’opera di Omero — e al contempo satirico la nobiltà dell’epoca, guardando al “beau-monde” con interesse autentico, al limite del voyeuristico, un interesse comparabile al gossip dei giorni nostri. Oltre a Pope, i protagonisti del romanzo sono, appunto, i personaggi principali del poema eroicomico, ovvero i personaggi storici immortalati dal poeta nel Ricciolo. La Gee ricostruisce la storia di Arabella Fermor (la Belinda di Pope) e del Barone Robert Petre, della Season (la Stagione del titolo italiano) che ha visto fiorire e appassire il loro amore, reciso bruscamente insieme al ricciolo di Arabella, con un gesto che al contempo lo rivela e lo rinnega; quel gesto che John Caryll, amico delle famiglie Petre e Fermor e di Pope stesso, suggerisce al poeta come ispirazione per un poema che possa riappacificare le due famiglie cattoliche.Sì, perché in realtà sullo sfondo di tutto il romanzo — e anche del Ricciolo rapito — c’è la situazione storico-religiosa dell’Inghilterra; l’avversione per le famiglie cattoliche, che hanno perso ormai ogni potere e spesso anche ogni avere. Caryll è cattolico, suo zio ha perso molte proprietà ed è stato accusato di essere giacobita, ovvero traditore. I giacobiti, infatti, volevano insediare sul trono d’Inghilterra colui che consideravano il legittimo erede al trono, Giacomo III Stuart — in esilio in Francia — al posto della regina Anna, pure discendente degli Stuart. I Fermor e i Petre sono cattolici. Lord Petre paga la sua fede non potendo prendere il suo posto legittimo alla Camera dei Lords. Anche Pope è cattolico: suo padre non vorrebbe che Alexander fosse così affascinato dalla capitale, perché teme che a Londra le persecuzioni verso i cattolici siano ancora in auge. Ma per il padre la capitale sarebbe stata sempre infestata dalle persecuzioni di cui un tempo era stato testimone. I genitori di Alexander erano stati cacciati quando era stato approvato il Decreto delle Dieci Miglia, che proibiva ai papisti di vivere a una distanza che permettesse di raggiungere la città in una sola giornata. Erano passati anni da allora, e i cattolici avevano ricominciato a tornare a Londra, ma il padre di Alexander era irremovibile. Suo figlio non avrebbe vissuto in città.Essere cattolici in Inghilterra: un tema che sembra affascinare la Gee, laureatasi all’università di Sidney con una tesi su Evelyn Waugh. Lo scrittore, infatti, si convertì al cattolicesimo e molte delle sue opere, fra cui la famosa Ritorno a Brideshead (Brideshead Rivisited 1945), sono incentrate su questo tema.Lo scandalo della Stagione presenta anche altri personaggi storici dell’epoca, coloro che hanno avuto un ruolo di spicco nella vita di Pope, come le due sorelle Blount, cugine di Arabella Fermor, Martha e Teresa, di cui Pope era innamorato ma non corrisposto sia per la sua estrazione sociale — in fondo egli è solo il figlio di un commerciante di tessuti — che per la sua deformità — sia Teresa che il critico Dennis lo definiscono “un rospo gibbuto”. Troviamo anche Charles Jervas, il ritrattista più famoso dell’epoca, che diverrà ritrattista di corte, intimo amico di Pope; Lady Mary Pirrepont, un personaggio singolare — fu poetessa e introdusse in Inghilterra una rudimentale vaccinazione contro il vaiolo —, che ebbe con Pope alcuni dissidi; infine gli editori e i letterati dell’epoca, non ultimi Jonathan Swift e John Gay, con cui Alexander Pope fondò lo Scriblerus Club. Questo romanzo ritrae fedelmente l’alta società dell’epoca: vuota, annoiata, barocca. Il lusso sfrenato nasconde l’insoddisfazione di una vita trascorsa in oziosi passatempi.«Quando sono in città, Patty, non ho altra scelta che diventare un’altra persona» disse con un’alzata di spalle. «A Londra un uomo è ovunque, meno che a casa sua; si occupa di tutto, meno che degli affari propri; bacia tutte, meno che sua moglie. È la moda. Trascorro il mio tempo a fare tutto meno quello che dovrei, e trascorro l’intera giornata parlando di uomini che per me non hanno valore».Non mancano i sentimenti di avidità; l’invidia fra le bellezze più corteggiate della Season, la gelosia di donne che vengono messe da parte per far posto a nuove passioni. I nobili discutono con superficialità e indifferenza del traffico degli schiavi per le loro piantagioni, che consentiranno loro una vita di sprechi, mentre trecento uomini hanno dovuto attraversare in piedi in una stiva l’Oceano Atlantico per garantirgliela. Lo stile della Gee è artefatto, carico di involuzioni nel linguaggio, un linguaggio che rispecchia perfettamente l’epoca storica in cui è ambientato il romanzo e completa la perfetta ricostruzione storica. Dietro a tutti i discorsi fioriti e tortuosi che fanno da passaporto in una società decadente, si celano personaggi con diverse personalità. Arabella e Teresa sembrano celare ben poco, da degne vuote rappresentanti del loro tempo, al contrario della meno bella ma più sensibile Martha. La figura di Lord Petre è, tuttavia, sfuggente. Non si comprende se la Gee non sia riuscita a delinearla perfettamente o se, nonostante il coinvolgimento politico e sentimentale, egli resti un uomo del suo secolo: insensibile, indifferente e fortemente egoista. Egli è comunque un nobile, mentre Arabella continua ad essere una borghese — bellissima e raffinata, ma pur sempre una borghese.Le loro reazioni la indussero a riflettere che, anche se Lord Petre si era innamorato di Arabella, l’abisso tra la nobiltà e la gente comune era profondo, forse persino più profondo di quello fra cattolici e protestanti. Si chiese davvero se Arabella sarebbe davvero stata in possesso dei nervi d’acciaio necessari per sopravvivere nel mondo di Lord Petre.Il ritratto di una società capricciosa e decadente; la genesi di un famoso poema, l’incontro con gli artisti più celebri dell’epoca. Un romanzo avvincente che fa riflettere su temi talvolta dimenticati e che ci fa conoscere uno dei più grandi poeti inglesi.Puoi leggere questa recensione QUI

  • Jean Marie
    2019-03-18 04:59

    This was a very clever novel. Like many first time authors I've read, it did take me a while to adjust to Gee's style of writing, which invokes the era pretty well. I also applaud Gee for attempting to write a novel on the premise of a famous poem, which is harder than one would think. The story is of young lovers Arabella and Robert. She, a commoner of uncommon beauty and he a young nobleman. All placed among Queen Anne's England with an underlying current of Jacobite drama. What is the meat of the story is their affair and the emotions around it. I though it was quite clever how Gee enterwined their affair and the Catholic plot of the era together all based on Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock. This is definitely an era I've read little about, and it certainly the grayest of history for me so it was wonderful to read a virtually authentic tale from the era. My only issue with the story is it's ending. We're left without knowing the mental aftermath of our key figures and I felt that Gee skimmed over them after she was finished with them too fast, which always seems to be my biggest gripe in novels is that authors rush the ending. Alas, I really enjoyed this book, it was well written and well paced and I will definitely pick up Gee's second novel, whenever she gets around to releasing one.

  • Ksenia
    2019-03-09 00:51

    his book was truly a wonderful literary historical fiction experience. I read The Rape of the Lock in my senior year of college, so I was glad the author included the entire poem at the end so I read that first to refresh my memory. I loved the author’s language in it. It was so rich and it really set the mood for the events that were happening. The characters were practically jumping off the page; I never had any picture of Alexander Pope in my mind, but now I do thanks to this book. Although there was one or two sex scenes I could have done without. For some reason, they just felt a bit odd and out of place for some reason, even though it wouldn’t have been odd for the characters to be in those scenes. Does that make any sense?I did, however, enjoy how Alexander Pope was really the observer in all this cause at first I thought that the author might insert himself somehow into these circumstances. But no, Pope was the every diligent poet who just happened to be privy to these events. This book actually helped me understand the poem just that much more. And I think that for anyone who hasn’t even read the poem, this book is a very rewarding read.

  • Roshni
    2019-03-21 04:43

    I liked this book...there was nothing earth shattering about it but then again, it doesn't promise to be anything but enjoyable.What I like best is the dialogue...Gee writes her characters with such wit and with the exception of a couple of anachronisms, does a great job of capturing London in the 1700s. And with note that this story takes place about a century before Jane Austen and the somewhat "pristine" sexual culture of the nineteenth century, this book revealed a part of London's sexual morality that I was a bit surprised to learn about!The book tells you the story of a romantic scandal that inspired the poem "The Rape of the Lock" by Alexander Pope (literary historical fiction). This isn't the best piece LHF of I've read ("The Dante Club" was excellent), but I love reading books, such as this one, that bring in characters of note as ancillary parts to the story (I don't want to spoil anything so I won't name names). And I know that's part of historical fiction, but when it's someone I know a good deal about and someone I've read, it just tickles me.

  • Grace
    2019-03-14 00:36

    I'm glad I persevered with this, although at one stage in the middle I did feel like giving up. The problem was that the pace was so very slow, and it seemed like nothing was happening...and really both these observationsa re true to the end. But it also had flashes of brilliance, a paragraph or two that described emotions perfectly, or created some lovely picture in the reader's head. Indeed the best part of the whole thing for me was the ending paragraph of the first chapter, an increadibly effective desciption of a priest's thoughts as he is murdered. Aside from these flashes, what ade this book worth reading was that about 3/4 of the way through I had the sudden realsiation that I understood the way these character's behaved, the way they talked and bowed, the odd customs of when they sat and where they stood and what they should wear. And really,that's what I read historical fiction for, not the bawdy yet plain descriptions of affairs, but the sense of another time, another place. And that is something that The Scandal of the Season did provide.

  • The Book Maven
    2019-02-23 02:00

    Gee's book tends to defy categorization. It's part mystery (really understated, however), part romance (again, understated), and mainly historical fiction. Set in early-eighteenth century London, it focuses on the aspiring writer Alexander Pope and his observations, aspirations, and private hopes. However, it focuses as well on the subjects of the poem that would eventually make his fortune, The Rape of the Lock, and how complicated, intricate, and fraught with disappointments the courtship process was. It wasn't until after I put down the book that I realized how successfully Gee depicted the London and society of Alexander Pope's time. As an avid reader of historical fiction, I think it's safe to say that I have read a lot of novels in that genre, but this one will really stick with me as one that successfully depicts the society, time, and geographic location that composes the essence of a well-written historical novel.

  • Emily
    2019-03-13 22:36

    I listed to the audio version of this book. It got off to a very slow start in my opinion. Based on the basis of the story, the poet Alexander Pope and his writing of the poem The Rape of the Lock, I was hopeful this would be a a very interesting historical account of said event. It got a bit better half way through but it never got to the point of really good. More than once I contemplated moving this to the "unfinished" shelf but since I was listening to it while doing a good bit of driving I decided to persevere. As I often complain of this genre there was a bit too much romance and sex for my taste. I really wish there were more historical fiction books out there without the play-by-play tellings of sexual encounters. The author did a good job with making you feel you were in the time in which the story takes place - social rules, language, details of clothing and so on.

  • Kim Diebold
    2019-02-22 05:31

    It appears that I am in the minority regarding this review since I really loved this book! I have a passion for both English and history and this book fulfills both. The author is extremely knowledgeable on these subject matters and it is obvious that her thesis statement was the premise for this book. I love when an author is capable of using fictional characters to accurately portray the ambience of that time. This book Had me engaged and interested the entire time I look forward to future material written by this author

  • Mary Beth
    2019-02-27 00:00

    I just happened to pick this one off the New Books shelf at the library and am very glad that I did. I learned a great deal about the poet Alexander Pope and also a great deal about karma.

  • Monicaa
    2019-03-07 01:32

    STORIA DI UNA POSSESSIONEMi sono spesso chiesta se non fosse stato il caso di esorcizzare l'autrice durante la sua stesura di questo libro.Come si spiegherebbe altrimanti l'abilità della sua penna nell'alternare perfette pagine di ambientazione storica, descrizioni di ambienti e dialoghi di impeccabile cortesia a improvvisi cambi di umore dove i suoi personaggi si ritrovano a "vomitare" perle di finezza come "mettimi la mano sulla fixx"?!Non c'è altra spiegazione, possessione o bipolarismo!

  • Madison
    2019-03-13 22:41

    In the Scandal of the Season, Sophie Gee brings you back in time to masquerades, ball gowns, and secret loves. Gee shows how Arabella is calculating her moves in order to try and catch the man she loves, even though she can not openly show how much she wishes to be with Lord Petre.

  • Linden
    2019-03-18 02:59

    This poor book must have been such a struggle to sell. It's sexy, but without much sex--and it doesn't quite make for a romance since it's

  • The Idle Woman
    2019-03-24 03:34

    3.5 stars.

  • Moloch
    2019-03-17 04:58

    Per il viaggio a Roma avevo con me questo romanzo di Sophie Gee, Lo scandalo della stagione, messo in borsa non senza qualche perplessità perché, al momento della difficile scelta su quale libro portare per le ore in treno, qualche pagina aperta a caso non mi aveva completamente convinta.L'autrice è una giovanissima docente di letteratura inglese a Princeton e, per il suo esordio nella narrativa, ha scelto di romanzare un episodio avvenuto nella Londra del 1711, che aveva già dato lo spunto ad Alexander Pope per il suo poema satirico Il ricciolo rapito (lo stesso Pope è uno dei personaggi del libro). Probabilmente il mio godimento nella lettura sarebbe stato maggiore se avessi conosciuto quest'opera in anticipo, o forse no, perché mi avrebbe svelato l'evento "culminante" della vicenda.Comunque ho iniziato la lettura un po' scettica, ho proseguito un po' annoiata e irritata da queste vicende di corteggiamenti e ricevimenti nobiliari, soprattutto perché non sopportavo più la descrizione dei due protagonisti, così belli, così eleganti, così innamorati, poi però, verso la metà del romanzo, mi è sorto finalmente il sospetto che ci potesse essere una punta di sarcasmo e ironia nel presentarli sempre così, e a quel punto ormai ero abbastanza presa dall'intrigo, e ammirata per la ricostruzione dell'ambiente. Una delle cose più difficili da ricreare fedelmente, secondo me, è il linguaggio del passato, quando le convenzioni e le regole delle buone maniere e dell'etichetta erano talmente più stringenti di adesso, che è facile imbattersi in dialoghi troppo "spontanei" e perciò improbabili. Qui invece le battute erano sufficientemente arzigogolate da pensare che potessero effettivamente essere state pronunciate da gentiluomini e gentildonne inglesi del primo Settecento (il rischio opposto, naturalmente, è che suonino troppo artificiose: magari alla fin fine all'epoca non si parlava sempre come un libro stampato, fa sembrare le conversazioni come delle continue sfide a chi è "più bravo").Comunque il finale è un bell'anticlimax abbastanza soddisfacente (e uno dei "colpi di scena" l'avevo ben indovinato), appropriato per una storia ambientata in una società che poteva mettersi in fermento in un attimo per un incidente che a noi apparirebbe quasi insignificante ("lo scandalo della stagione", appunto), ma che poi altrettanto in fretta lo dimentica, rimanendo sostanzialmente immobile e uguale a sé stessa.Forse meno convenzionale e più "vera" era la descrizione della Londra sporca, rumorosa e "infernale" presente in L'anima dei mostri di Claire Clark, ma quella era una storia che vedeva come protagonisti persone molto più umili; azzeccata, anche se alla fine un po' snervante, la descrizione di tutti (o quasi) i personaggi femminili come presi da un unico, ossessivo, pensiero, trovare qualcuno con cui sposarsi. Ho provato un sottile piacere sadico a leggere, nella postfazione, che i destini successivi della coppia di amanti superfighi non siano stati dei più felici: torna qui la mia avversione insopprimibile per le storie d'amore nei romanzi, tra un po' sfiorerò il patologico. In realtà, poveracci, magari in vita erano persone diversissime da come li ha immaginati l'autrice, magari non erano neppure innamorati!In definitiva, non una lettura che mi rimarrà impressa per tutta la vita, ma un buono svago, intelligente. L'edizione cui si riferiscono i due link più sotto non è quella che ho letto io, io ho l'edizione Mondolibri acquistata per corrispondenza.3/5

  • Catsalive
    2019-03-20 22:51

    London, 1711. As the rich, young offspring of the city's most fashionable families þll their days with masquerade balls and clandestine court-ships, Arabella Fermor and Robert, Lord Petre, lead the pursuit of pleasure. Beautiful and vain, Arabella is a clever coquette with a large circle of beaus. Lord Petre, seventh Baron of Ingatestone, is a man-about-town with his choice of mistresses. Drawn together by an overpowering attraction, the two begin an illicit affair.Alexander Pope, sickly and nearly penniless, is peripheral by birth, yet his uncommon wit and ambition gain him unlikely entrance into high society. Once there, privy to every nuance and drama, he is a ruthless observer. He longs for the success that will cement his place in society; all he needs is one poem grand enough to make his reputation.As the forbidden passion between Arabella and Lord Petre deepens, an intrigue of a darker nature threatens to overtake them. Fortunes change and reputations -- even lives -- are imperiled. In the aftermath, Pope discovers the idea for a daring poem that will catapult him to fame and fortune. witty & cleverly done. I loved the conversations between Alexander Pope & his friends & acquaintances. Such beautiful language. The romance & scheming were a necessary part of Pope's journey towards fame, but I just wanted some more dialogue between him & one of the other lions of his age - Jonathan Swift, Robert Steele, John Gay.Before Pope writes the poem that would make him the most famous poet in England, he travels to London where he becomes a part of the social round, observing London high-society through satirical eyes. He watches the grand love affair between Arabella Fermor & Robert Petre, & hears murmurings of a renewal of Jacobite plotting. When, through the machinations of his family, Petre is forced to renounce Arabella finally & publicly, Pope is inspired to complete his masterpiece, The Rape of the Lock, bringing him the renown he craves.I enjoyed the interweaving of the affair, the political situation & the posturings of society with Pope's aspirations, failures & finally success. Without the first available for observation & sardonic comment, there wouldn't have come the second, more important (to Pope & his readers), event: The Rape of the Lock. I think Gee has done extremely well at evoking time, place, mores & attitudes of the time. Entertaining & historically believable.

  • Mishka Jenkins
    2019-03-01 06:37

    This book is a fictionalised version of an actual historical event. A soon-to-be baron, Lord Robert Petre, seduces London’s beauty, Arabella Fermor, whilst he is also involved in a Jacobite plot to assassinate the Queen and put the exiled prince on the throne. Sounds exciting, right?It was supposed to be a sexy, thrilling story of a scandalous affair whilst being dangerous with all the Jacobite intrigue.But when I got to the end of this book, I was just kind of like, ‘What actually happened in this book?’.Don’t get me wrong, it was alright. It was a book I was happy to read, it’s just not much actually happened. It wasn’t all that exciting, the characters weren’t overly compelling, and the main romance wasn’t the romance I was interested in. I didn’t really care if Arabella and Lord Petre got together, I was much more interested in the blossoming relationship between Alexander and Martha, which was sweet and lovely and didn’t get as much attention as it deserved.There were an abundance of characters and viewpoints throughout and sometimes, especially at the beginning, I struggled to keep up with the amount of characters being thrown at me. But I got there in the end and started recognising who was who.The writing suited the time period the story was set for, and I did enjoy the fact that it was about real historical events. But again, not the most exciting event to write a book about, in my opinion. I dunno, it was just not a book that I could get excited over or really involved in. The ending left me disappointed, as it just kind of ended without really wrapping things up.What I did like most about the book was the Afterword, where the author detailed what happened to the people in real life after the events in the book, that was really interesting.Overall, it was an ok read, I don’t regret reading it, but it certainly didn’t get me excited to find out what came next or really care about what happened to the characters throughout. I would recommend it to those interested in this particular event and time in history, as you’d already have an interest in the subject.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-02 02:42

    Sophie Gee’s debut novel, The Scandal of the Season, offers a fictionalized account of the secret romance that inspired Alexander Pope’s infamous mock-heroic narrative poem, The Rape of the Lock. Set in high society London of the early eighteenth century, the story details the highlights, scandals, and intrigues of the 1711 social season as experienced by Pope and his acquaintances. Pope ventures to the city after the success of two of his poems, joining family acquaintances Martha and Teresa Blount, who happen to be related to Arabella Fermor, the current darling of London high society and later, the heroine of The Rape of the Lock. Through his acquaintance with the Miss Blounts and Miss Fermor, as well as his own Catholic and literary friends in the city, Pope experiences firsthand the social maneuvering, contests, political scheming, and ornate displays that comprise the social activities of London’s elite. From these experiences—most notably knowledge of the affair between Arabella Fermor and Lord Robert Petre—Pope finally finds the inspiration, in subject matter and format, to surpass even his own literary aspirations. The hastily and publically concluded affair of Miss Fermor and Lord Petre—completed with the theft of Arabella’s hair—provides the perfect venue from which Pope can satirize the social cast he dually seeks to impress. Author Sophie Gee deliberately blurs the line between fact and fiction as she creates the twists and turns of romantic relationships, murder plots, political rebellion via the Jacobites, and the literary figures of her novel. Readers familiar with British authors, artists, and playwrights of the early eighteenth century may appreciate the recurring presence and discussions among famous personas of the age, including Jonathan Swift, Charles Jervas, John Gay, and Richard Steele. These characters—or their historical significance—are not vital to the story, however, as Gee presents with humor and accuracy the equivalent of modern celebrity scandals in London 300 years ago.

  • Amy
    2019-03-18 06:52

    According to the Author's Note at the beginning of the book, England changed from a Catholic to Protestant country in the 16th century when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and stripped the Catholic Church of its wealth. Catholicism, however, was never quelled; even though the official religion of England was Protestantism, vast numbers of Englishmen remained true to Catholicism. The Catholics resented the Protestants for taking away their wealth and privilege and the Protestants feared a Catholic uprising that would someday remove them from power. For the next 200 years, England was immersed in a religious turmoil. By 1711, England was finally beginning to feel secure. Queen Anne, a Protestant, but descended from the Stuarts, was on the throne and for the first time, Catholics and Protestants felt able to live in relative amity. One question did remain, though -- who would succeed the childless queen when she passed? A clandestine alliance was formed among those who supported the return of a Stuart to the monarch. The allies called themselves Jacobites and they secretly conspired to bring Catholic, King James III (presently exiled in France) back to England to rule. This was a very dangerous period in the history of England.The Scandal of the Season is a novel that tells the true story of a notorious eighteenth century romantic scandal and the famous writer who immortalized the lovers in his poem. All the while, the religious turmoil mentioned above swirls throughout the story. There is romance, danger, intrigue and a risk of the character's world as they have come to know it. This debut novel, named one of the Best Books of 2007 by the Washington Post, gives the reader a fascinating look into this piece of England's history.

  • Pau
    2019-03-09 02:00

    I know I shouldn't judge but that book cover is just so sexy and alluring that I just had to pick it up. I knew I could not leave the shop without this book. I am SO SO SO GLAD I picked this up. It is just wonderful and would have gotten full 5 stars together with the greats had the ending not been so... bland. It's Queen Anne's England, well at least the last 3 years of it. The book starts with Alexander Pope's first person POV (narrated as 3rd person) but then shifts into different POVs within one chapter. It can be rather disjointed sometimes with this style. But I am just so in love with Arabella Fermor. Had this book been written entirely in her perspective, it would have been twice as enjoyable. Alas, we had to go through Pope, the Blount sisters, and Lord Petre (I don't mind some of his POV). I understand that Arabella wouldn't have had the guts to find out the things concerning the Jacobite story-arch. But since Gee is executing creative license anyways, it wouldn't have been too far to have her take on a bit of daring adventures. I am as enthralled with her as with the rest of London society. She's just so unpredictable and adorable. I would definitely recommend this. But don't expect too much at the resolution. It was done badly. I had feeling that Gee was rushing to tie them up together and have Pope read that bloody poem in the end. We all know about it as it's standard reading. I wanted the more exciting angle of the poem - the one experience by Arabella. Still, the three quarters of the book was wonderful. It was wit and romance and academic... all blended together in a wonderful creation. Good work, Gee. Oh by the way... BACON!!! It's on page page 163 and it's hilarious!!!

  • Shari
    2019-03-14 02:49

    This was a pleasant surprise, the story leading up to the writing of THE RAPE OF THE LOCK, and presenting a rather interesting picture of the social milieu in which this occurred. Catholics are still walking on eggs after the Ten Mile Act; young ladies in the city for The Season are learning what they believe are the proper flirtatious ploys that might snag a rich husband. Yet so many of them struggling to hide the fact that they might be from families that are experiencing debt problems which will seriously curtail their dowers, and dowries are the most important part of the process.Gee includes a short list of titles in her Acknowledgments that are enticing and cover most of what might be a short research project for the reader in order to determine more substantial information of the period. I did appreciate Gee's inclusion of the rawness that repartee could consist of, and the fine lines drawn between what was passable and possible in the relationships between the young men and young women. This was an age much less puritanical than we have been led to believe. Still the slippery interactions, the arch comments, and the wit, or lack of it, that brought people up short and lent credence or foolishness to their characters suggest an interesting study.There is a fine collection, also, of the literary names of the age and short insights into their personalities. And the book ends with the original form of THE RAPE OF THE LOCK, -- the shorter version. That is a plus.An interesting read that can lead to questions and the desire for further information. This is always a positive thing.

  • Gabby
    2019-03-12 03:50

    This book opens in 1711 when the idle rich were the focus of attention in England. It must have been ghastly to be among the idle rich since, for lack of a life purpose, they seemed to do nothing but make trouble for themselves. The "scandal" involves Alexander Pope, a poet, and what prompted him to write the satire, The Rape Of The Lock. Annabella Fermor and Lord Robert Petre are the subjects of this satire which went on to make Alexander Pope famous.As historical fiction, this book is interesting in its portrayal of how the idle rich spent their time when there really wasn't anything to distract them from a boring existence unless they manufactured their own intrigue and drama. The women were given nothing better to do than attend parties, gossip, embroider, and try to snatch a wealthy husband from a pool of rather dimwitted men. The men, on the other hand, were given to hunting, fishing, gambling, and trying to come up with some way to be impressively noticed by society at large while lusting after anything vaguely attractive in a skirt. Even though the history of this time period is interesting, it's hard to maintain enthusiasm for people who are essentially less fascinating than watching grass grow.One of the issues that plays a part in the story of Scandal Of The Season is the continuing efforts of Jacobites to return King James III to the throne of England. As a result, I am interested in reading more about that era of history since it is one of which I know very little.