My last duchess daisy goodwin
The American Heiress by Daisy GoodwinWitty, moving, and brilliantly entertaining, The American Heiress marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James.
Be careful what you wish for. Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.
Witty, moving, and brilliantly entertaining, Coras story marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James.
"My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning (read by Tom O'Bedlam)
My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin
I t's not easy to warm to Cora Cash. The sole heiress to her father's bread-flour fortune, she has grown up in a Newport mansion modelled on the Palace of Versailles, and her coming-out ball boasts guests, fountains of champagne, and the release of a cageful of gold-sprayed hummingbirds at midnight. Many admire her — and none more so, it appears, than Cora herself, who finds that even Austen's own spoiled heroine, Emma Woodhouse in a gently pleasing metatextual touch, Goodwin has Cora reading Emma just before her ball begins , pales before her. Cora's own mother, a woman of monstrous social ambition, is determined to marry her daughter off to a titled Englishman at the earliest opportunity — despite the fact that Cora's own desires lie with her childhood friend, Teddy Van Der Leyden. The ideal match-making opportunity soon presents itself when, on a reconnaissance trip to England, Cora tumbles from her horse while out hunting, and is rescued by the suitably dark, handsome and mysterious Duke of Wareham, to whom she swiftly announces her engagement. If Cora herself is not, at first, especially likeable, then neither is Goodwin's book, which reads initially like literary pornography for those with a rarefied fetish for the fashions of the early s.
Share on:. There's plenty to enjoy in this debut novel by Daisy Goodwin. And first up is the elegant cover. I wanted to read the book as soon as I saw the photograph: a beautiful girl with great presence about her. The thoughtful look on her face and lack of ring on her finger hinted at an intriguing story. It was also a fair bet that this historical fiction, set in the nineteenth century, was about a romance, suitable or unsuitable.
Laura Barnett finds that it takes Daisy Goodwin a while to get into her stride.
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Cora Cash is, as her name suggests, a rich American heiress with the youth and beauty to have her pick of the world's most eligible bachelors. But because this is the turn of the 20th century, when it is all the rage for nouveau American scions to marry impoverished European blue-bloods, Cora's aspirational mother whisks her off to England so that this Anglo-American transaction can take place. Cora ends up - against all her mother's plans - not playing the game but falling in love. In this lively and intelligent debut novel, Daisy Goodwin takes the eccentricities of a decadent age when billionaire Americans sought footholds into upper-class European society and breathes romance into it. The effect is historical novel-cum-Dynasty. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
Yes, within 15 pages, we have girls kissing, less than halfway through the book, an artist references what will become known in the 21st century as the progenitor of all uncomfortable anime-based bestiality fantasies God, the things I learned as an art history minor , and Beyond all that, this book just wasn't what it was supposed to be. I got the sense that it was trying to be some sort of mix of Dangerous Liaisons and Upstairs Downstairs, but it got caught in this middle ground between romance and historical fiction, which makes it not romancy enough enough for the romancers and waaaaaaaaaay too fluffy and shallow for anyone interested in actual historical fiction. And never mind the fact that nothing, not one single thing, happens during the course of this entire book. Oh, and I know this is snobby of me to say, but nothing makes me more annoyed than when I read little pieces of meaningless fluff like this and then there's "discussion questions" in the back of the book, like it's freaking Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five or something. There is nothing in this book that requires thought or interpretation.