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An Accomplished Woman

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  775 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
As a young woman, clever, self-reliant Lydia Templeton scandalised society by rejecting Lewis Durrant, the county's most eligible bachelor. Ten years later, Lydia has no regrets and, having concluded that matters of the heart need no longer trouble her, she is quite happy to remain unwed.



But others still seek Lydia's advice on their love lives, and when her godmother implo
...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 9th 2007 by Headline Review (first published 2007)
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Lord Carew's Bride by Mary BaloghReforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla KellyThe Temporary Wife by Mary BaloghMrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla KellyThe Rake by Mary Jo Putney
Traditional Regency
44th out of 491 books — 232 voters
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenEdenbrooke by Julianne DonaldsonPersuasion by Jane AustenSense and Sensibility by Jane AustenBlackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Clean Regency (or around then) Romance Novels
82nd out of 415 books — 501 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,596)
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Laura
Jul 30, 2009 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-and-fun
In spite of a slow start, this was diverting enough that the author’s obvious looting of Jane Austen characters and situations didn’t give me heartburn. Our heroine, Lydia, is as sure of herself as Emma, as ruled by her sense of reason as Elinor Dashwood, and even more outspoken than Elizabeth Bennet. And, like Anne Elliot, she turned down a proposal in her youth and is now on the precipice of confirmed spinsterhood. However, Lydia is content to be single, as it affords her the freedom to pursue ...more
Kelly
This review first appeared on my blog Shoulda Coulda Woulda Books.

This is my third Morgan. Two main things to say, really: First, I liked it better than either of the others by him I've read so far, and second, I think I understand why so many people seem to have a problem with him.

This book centers on a thirty-year old single woman named Lydia Templeton. Of course, this being a novel that models itself after Regency social comedies, that "single" status matters rather a lot to the plot. Ten yea
...more
Vanda Field
Mar 26, 2013 Vanda Field rated it it was amazing
Hi,
I've been prompted to join this site and write a comment solely on the basis of the disparaging reviews of Jude Morgan's An Accomplished Woman. I must admit I was surprised - not, of course, on the diversity of opinions - but moreso on the extreme denouncements of those who gave the book a very low rating. I have difficulty in understanding how those reviewers who, as they are subscribers to the site and to this specific area of the site, must have a general liking and appreciation for this g
...more
Sophie
Apr 06, 2013 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books
What a delight to find an author who respects the art of the historical novel, who cares about accuracy, and who creates characters that seem like products of their era. An Accomplished Woman is a joy to read and I loved immersing myself in country walks, Bath assemblies, and post-chaise chases. Jude Morgan writes about adult characters who have witty conversations and generally behave precisely as we imagine people in the Regency would behave. How refreshing that even though the heroine, Lydia ...more
Wealhtheow
Sep 02, 2010 Wealhtheow rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of regency romances
Shelves: historical, regency
Lydia is that most beloved of Regency heroines, a woman past her "prime" but with a quick wit and an entertaining inner monologue. After turning down a marriage proposal in her youth, she has spent the last decade going to art exhibits, translating old texts, and in every way living a satisyfing life of the mind. But then her godmother asks her for a favor, and Lydia finds herself escourting a pretty young heiress around Bath. And though Phoebe is smart and has good taste in every other respect, ...more
Jamie Collins
This is an old-fashioned Regency romance from a modern writer; something very like a Georgette Heyer novel. It’s well written and great fun to read.

Admittedly, this book is weaker than Morgan’s Indiscretion and A Little Folly, mostly because it borrows too noticeably from Jane Austen’s plots and characters. (The nudge-and-wink of having characters muse about “sense” and “sensibility” didn’t help.) Based on that observation, I thought this must be the earliest of these three books, and I was surp
...more
Res
Sep 26, 2010 Res rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
The one where bluestocking spinster Lydia is persuaded, against her better judgment, to accompany a young woman to Bath and help her choose between two suitors.

I loved the writing. I hated the characterization.

The story is beautifully told, with all sorts of delightful moments of insight and wit. ("How do you like the music?" "Artificial," he snapped, "miserably artificial," and he stared away, leaving Lydia to the interesting philosophic exercise of imagining what music with no artifice would
...more
Ilze
Feb 04, 2016 Ilze rated it liked it
Shelves: jude-morgan
Interesting and very well-written, but drags in places, especially in the first part of the book. Less than the sum of its parts, unfortunately.

A fewthings bothered me throughout the story:

Lydia Templeton and Lewis Durrant are the main characters and are supposed to be crazy in love with each other, and have been so for 10 years. But Lydia turned down Lewis' offer of marriage nine years ago and ever since has pretended outwardly and to herself that she doesn't care about him. Well, no, romantic
...more
Mela
It is a great example how should be written Regency romances. Wittily, with adequate language (vocabulary), with complex, interesting characters, with surprising plot twists.

What can I add? There are characters you think you understand but then someone did something you hadn't foreseen. Nonetheless, after he did it you knew than it make sense. Just like it is in the real world with the people you don't know much.

This book/story is evidently completely thought out. A really good job.

I laught a fe
...more
Suzanne
Feb 20, 2011 Suzanne rated it liked it
The 3 stars is an average of the rating I would have given the beginning, 1, combined with the rating I would have given the ending, 5. I pushed myself through the first 200 pages or so because the author has a brilliant way with a simile. For example:

"Lydia was precisely divided between agreement with what Mr. Durrant said, and disgust at the arrogance with which he said it: emotionally the effect was like one of those sneezes that do not quite come."

That's just one example; there are many eleg
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Krista
Jun 02, 2013 Krista rated it really liked it
I liked this one better than A Little Folly. Maybe because the lead character is one of those politely sarcastic females, dripping their futile world-changing toxins within the constrains of a society that does not allow women to be powerful or single-minded.

Morgan again delights with his writing style and his sharp, observant tongue, which fits so well here because of his sharp, observant leading lady:

"Susannah did not so much sit down as demonstrate sitting down's beautiful possibilities. From
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Leslie
Aug 07, 2009 Leslie rated it really liked it
Morgan's clever pastiche of Austen knocks the many recent imitations and sequelae out of the park! Light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek - Morgan's frequent references to tippling wine as a refuge for spinster ladies, especially - yet as tartly amusing as Austen herself, An Accomplished Woman manages to mock the Heyer ideal of Regency romance while at the same time abiding by its conventions. Morgan's tone is eerily similar to Austen's while remaining indefatigably modern.

Truly enjoyable and and a defi
...more
Hirondelle
Dec 15, 2010 Hirondelle rated it liked it
A regency novel in the style of Georgette Heyer indeed, the plot itself could be perfectly a GH novel. The writing is nice, the dialogue oftentimes brilliant, and there are some reliable horrible characters to love loathing. But somehow, as in Indiscretion (and unlike Heyer), my emotional involvement with the characters is quite shallow. In all a nice cozy read but also oddly slow. Seems unfair to criticize a book for making me love it but true.

Pg 332 - lovely hommage to Jane Austen!
Clare Cannon
Apr 22, 2014 Clare Cannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Jude Morgan novels could be taken for those by Georgette Heyer, though perhaps on the whole they are not quite as quick and snappy. We meet similar Austen-inspired characters placed in Regency-flavoured England, and are treated to an abundance of quick-witted dialogue in place of deeply explored themes.

Where both Morgan and Heyer differ from Austen is in the credibility and depth of the story: Austen wrote of real people facing real struggles, while here we find semi-comedic characters whose mai
...more
Samantha
Mar 21, 2016 Samantha rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
well, this isn't quite like reading jane austen, because jane austen was written back in the day, which lends it a certain gravitas, a communication across time. but, since morgan is writing today, she can be more risque. not only are there mild sexual allusions, but cattiness galore. which makes it funnier than austen's rather drier humor.

otherwise, great characters, the same old musical chairs scramble to get married. rather predictable ending, but still romantic and satisfying nonetheless. n
...more
Mela
It is a great example how should be written Regency romances. Wittily, with adequate language (vocabulary), with complex, interesting characters, with surprising plot twists.

What can I add? There are characters you think you understand but then someone did something you hadn't foreseen. Nonetheless, after he did it you knew than it make sense. Just like it is in the real world with the people you don't know much.

This book/story is evidently completely thought out. A really good job.

I laught a fe
...more
MAP
3.5 stars.

I LOVED Jude Morgan's Indiscretion and so sought out his other books that are in the same vein. This book was similar, and it was good, but it was missing that umph that Indiscretion had. While Indescretion felt like an Austen novel, this book felt like it was TRYING to be an Austen novel, both in terms of style and plot. In terms of style, there was just something forced about a lot of the wittiness, and the book sometimes was a little too proud of being "clever" -- like the time the
...more
Michelle
Lydia is a clever, talented, young woman in the Regency era who is approaching the age of 30, and after rejecting a proposal from the neighbor, Mr. Lewis Durrant, seems happily disposed to never marrying. We see her wicked sense of humor when she pretends not to be herself to a woman who believes she has led her brother on romantically in the opening chapters. Lydia is asked by her godmother to take on chaperoning in Bath her ward, Phoebe, who in her opening Season in London has attracted the at ...more
Hazel
Oct 18, 2009 Hazel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Maybe two and a half stars. Someone recommended Jude Morgan as a man who writes like Georgette Heyer. Of course, I didn't believe it, but I thought it might be fun. I was right on both counts.

This is nowhere near as light as Heyer. In fact, it feels rather ponderous, and the characters didn't hold my interest. I didn't really care which young gentleman the secondary female lead ended up with, and of course the main hero and heroine were obvious from the start. But Morgan has clearly studied Jane
...more
Anita
Jun 02, 2010 Anita rated it it was amazing
This book opens with a charming scene at an art exhibition with a Regency Miss lamenting on the cavalier treatment of her beloved brother by the woman he worshipped and who had cast him aside without a second thought.

Lydia Templeton listens sympathetically and although I guessed early on she was the woman in question, I was still thoroughly entertained by their interchange and Lydia's bewilderment with a man whose favour she had attracted by no more effort than by, 'Suppressing my yawns in his
...more
Ana T.
Mar 13, 2009 Ana T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve heard Morgan being compared to Heyer and Austen and while his characters seemed to me to have a more modern voice there’s no doubt that I found it a pleasantly enjoyable read.


Lydia Templeton is a single woman and very independent. A few years ago she refused her neighbor’s, Lewis Durrant, offer of marriage. But they have remained on friendly terms and while finding him a bit stuffy and boring she does in fact enjoy their conversations. Lydia has no regrets about refusing him, she much pref
...more
Gina Dalfonzo
Jul 14, 2013 Gina Dalfonzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Morgan pays affectionate tribute to all things Austen. I enjoyed the first half enormously . . . the second half, not quite as much. Morgan's style is witty and delightful, and he works in clever references to all of Austen's major works (perhaps some of her minor ones, too, for all I know!). He has some uproariously funny turns of phrase. But he doesn't have Austen's knack for probing beneath the surface and revealing that there's more to a character than we first thought. Instead, his characte ...more
Mo
May 26, 2013 Mo rated it liked it
The main reason that I did not rate this book any higher was simply because it did not capture me. I did not pick it up with any degree of eagerness. It was more of a feeling, “Oh, I really should finish reading that book… or maybe take a nap instead”!

I liked the fact that the author was true to the Regency period for the most part, but I did have some quibbling issues with the book.

I thought there was WAY too much discussion of personal matters (sometimes between comparative strangers) to be be
...more
Kate
Jun 29, 2016 Kate rated it liked it
An enjoyable, vaguely Emma-like Regency romance, with Lydia Templeton a dedicated spinster irresistibly assigned to chaperone the naive Phoebe Rae who is in love with two men. Along the way, Lydia must deal with her feelings about marriage and Lewis Durrant, a close neighbor who once proposed. Not as drippy as it sounds but a bit of a slog in parts, and the characters go through a awful lot of changes in the course of 400 pages. Better than most romance dreck lately, and no blushes!!!
Nancy
Mar 23, 2012 Nancy rated it it was ok
Hmmm. Having recently read "Indiscretion" which I enjoyed, I wanted to try another. Initially I enjoyed it, but then the shine started to come off. Shades of "Emma" by Jane Austen, but Mr. Durrant was quite harsh and the interactions between Lydia and Mr. Durrant seemed somewhat unpleasant. Then Lydia's motivations not to go to Bath and then go to Bath made little sense to me, so that entire section of the book was a wash. Then the entire back and forth, first for Phoebe and then Lydia simply be ...more
Pgchuis
Oct 26, 2014 Pgchuis rated it liked it
Lydia Templeton, 30, is asked by her godmother to accompany young heiress Phoebe to Bath as her chaperone and help Phoebe to choose between her two suitors, both of whom she claims to be in love with. Lydia's neighbour, Lewis Durrant, whose offer of marriage Lydia declined 10 years ago, also goes to Bath to seeks a wife because he dislikes the man who will otherwise be his heir.

I listened to the first 5 hours on audiobook, decided my life was too short and skipped to the last chapter. The last
...more
Judith
Morgan has written a book that is near equal in wit to the novels of Jane Austen and is as good or better than a number of Georgette Heyer novels. One of the pleasures the book gave me is seeing how Morgan utilizes characters and scenes from Miss Austen's novels, adding his own twist and interpretation so that he plays off them without plagarizing. The main character, the "accomplished woman" learns some hard lessons about herself. While the novel is liesurely, it is very well-plotted, with not ...more
Mrsgaskell
Nov 13, 2010 Mrsgaskell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, library, 8-star
This was a well-written Regency novel, witty and amusing. I would read more by this author.
VMom
Mar 02, 2010 VMom rated it really liked it
An Austen-styled regency romance, also very good and amusing. I am also reading more from this author.
Anna
Jun 03, 2014 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This book was fun, but uneven. There are some delicious bits of dialogue, but there were a number of different storytelling/writing styles employed, sometimes within a single chapter, which was rather distracting. I also do not appreciate when an author so obviously makes fun of her own plot devices or characters to foreshadow events, it destroys the suspension of disbelief required for me to live in the story. However, I liked Lydia, respected Mr Durrant, and adored Phoebe,(view spoiler) ...more
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Jude Morgan was born and brought up in Peterborough on the edge of the Fens and was a student on the University of East Anglia MA Course in Creative Writing under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.

A pseudonym used by Tim Wilson.

Also writes under the name Hannah March.
More about Jude Morgan...

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“Probably no purer incitement to hatred existed, Lydia had found, than being told of anyone or anything: you will love him, her or it. The spirit immediately rose up like a fanged cobra.” 5 likes
“The stupidest people suddenly become a little cleverer when we learn that they think well of us” 2 likes
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