Title: Follies Past: A Prequel to Pride and Prejudice
Author: Melanie Kerr
Publication Info: Petticoat Press; November, 2013
Genre: Regency Romance
Format: Paperback, Kindle
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
“I must now mention a circumstance which I would wish to forget myself, and which no obligation less than the present should induce me to unfold to any human being…”
So begins Mr. Darcy to lay before Elizabeth his faithful narrative of Mr. Wickham’s villainy toward his sister, Georgiana. The facts he sets out are brief but potent. They contain a story unto themselves, and that story is the subject of this book.
Taking its facts from Austen’s own words, Follies Past opens almost a year before the opening of Pride and Prejudice itself, at Pemberley, at Christmas. Fourteen-year-oldGeorgiana has just been taken from school and is preparing to transfer to London in the spring. It follows Georgiana to London, to Ramsgate and into the arms of the charming and infamous Mr. Wickham.
To read this book is to step back into the charming world of Jane Austen’s England, to pass a few more hours with some of her beloved characters, sympathetically portrayed as they might have been before ever they came to Netherfield, and to discover a host of new characters each with engaging histories of their own. Authentic in its use of language and meticulously researched, it is a truly diverting entertainment.
From the first two paragraphs it was clear to me that I was to become a captive audience.
The language was beautiful and very similar to Austens. It was a fast read and what a delightful fast read. Darcy, Lord Ashwell, as well as Caroline Bingley with her exuberant ego and hilarious schemes make appearances in this novel.
I fell in love with the character of Clare, for she was a reader. I loved the way the author included titles of books that were popular during that time. The research was remarkably on target.
The romance between Clare and Lord Ashwell gave the book the period romance it needed and all the characters were well-developed. As to Wickham and Mrs. Younge I say “shame on you.”
As I neared the end, I was sad to be leaving the cast of Folly, but then I remembered. I could read Pride and Prejudice again.