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The young lady from Paris: a novel
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The young lady from Paris: a novel

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  5 reviews
1800s rural England, innocent ex-convict Bilbo leaves cellmate Simon to herd sheep in Petworth, forgives judge Luke Paget. Ellen Paget 22 is whisked by godmother from Brussels to teach angry Menispe 4, whose mother Louise hosts literary Paris salons with lesbian Germaine, until Luke bequeaths all to conniving housekeeper Mrs Pike.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 8th 1982 by Gollancz (first published 1982)
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This is definitely the weakest of Aiken's three historical novels about the Paget family (the other two being The Smile of the Stranger and The Weeping Ash). Ellen Paget leaves her Brussels boarding school, where she's become involved with an attractive schoolmaster, to become a governess in a noble French family.

The plot is derivative in places (the beginning bears a distinct resemblance to Villette, for instance) and oddly disjointed, taking Ellen in the middle of the book back to her family
An Odd1
Passion - secret, forbidden, rejected - murder, suicide - unspoken is made boring. Not a titillating touch. Meant to be historical methinks? Moral that country ways are honest, best? When meanest person (of many) ends up happy-ever-after marrying? Realistic no-point narrative like true life?

1800s Petworth near Chichester Cathedral, innocent released convict Matthew Bilbo heads home to herd sheep, fearful for cellmate "Simmie" p 11, forgives judge Luke Paget. Beginning connects later when Simon P
Christine Honsinger
Joan Aiken's website lists this book as a "period novel", however, I do not know what genre I would actually put it in as it just didn't seem to know exactly what it wanted to be...part historical romance, (with little to no romance) part gothic suspense (without a culmination or resolution to any of the events that are a mystery) The end was so weak that I actually looked beyond the last page of my copy to see whether someone had possibly ripped pages out of the book but no, that really was the ...more
Joan Aiken is one of my favourite children's authors. She also wrote some books for adults, which tend to have a kind of doomed, foreboding air to them - someone always dies, usually an innocent of some kind (child or lover). I've never found them as satisfying. Though I did enjoy the scenes in Paris - literary salons and all - this just came off as a second-rate period romance. With a bit of doom in it for good measure. If you are trying Aiken for the first time, try the Wolves of Willoughby Ch ...more
I love her books. This one was great!! I did get lost in it (I mean that in a good way)...a young girl having some intelligence but having to submit to the male dominate rules of that time.
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Joan Delano Aiken was a much loved English writer who received the MBE for services to Children's Literature. Her most famous classic, THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE,has been celebrating its 50th Anniversary with the publication of three brand new editions of the book and a new AUDIO recorded by her daughter Lizza.


More about Joan Aiken...
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves Chronicles, #1) Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles, #2) Nightbirds on Nantucket (The Wolves Chronicles, #3) Jane Fairfax Arabel's Raven (Arabel and Mortimer, #1)

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