What knocked this down from a four star to a three star review was the realisation of how horribly Heyer treats her female characters, especially theWhat knocked this down from a four star to a three star review was the realisation of how horribly Heyer treats her female characters, especially the poorer ones not of 'gentle birth'. Belinda is only 16, yet because she is a 'love child' and penniless, there really isn't any issue with either marrying her off (preferable) or letting her wander blindly into a life of prostitution (Haymarket ware). She is utterly passive, and only Gilly's determination not to let others get the better of him saves her from being whored out, against her will and certainly without any understanding of what is taking place.
Yet Tom, also vagrant, without visible means of support and only a year younger, is protected from any of this because a) he's male and b) his father has money.
The fact that I've read this several times before and only realised how very young Belinda is at this point makes me feel a little queasy....more
London, city of cities - in 1800, it was the largest city the world had ever known with a population in excess of 1,000,000. All of the issues large uLondon, city of cities - in 1800, it was the largest city the world had ever known with a population in excess of 1,000,000. All of the issues large urban concentrations of people have had to work out were first hammered out here; from the problems of how to deal with that much sewage to how to ensure clean drinking water; how to organise mass transport to how to deal with the massive crowds that turned up to sightsee everything - like the Great Tooley Fire which burned eleven acres of warehouses and claimed the life of the founder of the London Fire Brigade, which attracted so many onlookers that all the surrounding streets and bridges were completely impassable to carriages. London, bustling, hive-like, brawling, bawdy and as full of life as the maggots on a week old corpse is vividly depicted in this lively book, illuminated with the help of Dicken's most loved characters....more