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Lady Fortescue Steps Out (The Poor Relations, Vol 1)
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Lady Fortescue Steps Out (Poor Relation #1)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  2,229 Ratings  ·  323 Reviews
Elderly widow Lady Fortescue must escape genteel poverty. If each of five geriatrics relieve a rich relative of a costly trifle, they can turn her house into a hotel for the ton. Her nephew, Duke of Rowcester, is horrified, until he meets hotel chef Miss Harriet James, green-eyed beauty who remembers their waltz - before she lost parents and inherited debts.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1992)
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mark monday
oh dear! what's a broke Regency era heroine to do? her lack of funds are intolerable - she can barely stay warm or well-fed - and whatever is to be done about the ever faithful servants? she's a "poor relation" to infinitely wealthier noble relations - why can't they help out? she's a senior citizen; is there no pity amongst the upper classes for their forgotten elders? perhaps she should steal a trinket or two from those relatives? or perhaps she should rally, collect other "poor relations" to ...more
The widowed Lady Fortescue was a member of the genteel poverty often referred to as the invisible poor. Included in her misfortune, she was seventy years old: an age that was considered positively ancient in the early nineteenth century.

To make matters worse, she was accused of stealing two silver candlesticks by her nephew, the Duke of Rowcester. And she was caught; it was her first time and she needed to eat. Humiliated to the extreme, she remained inside her home with her two older servants.
"But there were also the members of the invisible poor, the victims of genteel poverty who, with many subterfuges and stratagems, hid their condition from the eyes of polite society."

*Edit - I found my old review from 2011. Interesting how opinions change. I've added it to the bottom of this review.

Lady Fortescue Steps Out (1992, St. Martin's Press), first in the Poor Relation series by Marion Chesney, is a romantic comedy of manners set in Regency London. The novel is a standalone story wi
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have wanted to read a book by MC Beaton (aka Marion Chesney, etc) for some time and finally, due to an Audible Deal of the Day, snatch up my first one. Rather than one of her mysteries, I picked up one of her light Regency Romantic Comedies and it was a gem of a story that left me not only eager for the rest of the series, but for more of her books.

Lady Fortescue Steps Out is the first book in the Poor Relations series. The series title says it all as this is the story of a group of people, st
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
(Edited to add: This is a review of the entire Poor Relation series, not just this book.)

I love this series' mixture of comedy of manners, social history, and a little romance. The books contain many well-researched descriptions of unpleasant aspects of life among the upper classes during the Regency period. The books delineate the bleak options for members of the ton (particularly women and elderly) who lose their money, and the horrible conditions for the serving class and the very poor. Thro
Felicia J.
4.5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised by how good this slim novel was - sly, wickedly funny and sometimes poignant. This sharp satire of Regency London concerns the plight of "poor relations" – those born into upper-class families but left without their own share of the family wealth. They struggle to subsist on meager allowances or the grudging charity of relatives, because to "stoop" to working for a living is considered vulgar.

The story centers on six of the genteel poor who decide to break the
Tim Hicks
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's be clear: this is a lightweight piece of fun.
I don't read romances, I really don't. But a Goodreads friend really liked it, so I thought I'd give it a go.

If you liked The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, or E.F. Benson books, you'll probably like this.

It's an interesting look at Regency society, but the poor relations that are the heart of the plot are quite fun as they come to terms with doing what they have to do to get by - which they do mostly by taking advantage of the odd artificialiti
I had no idea that Marion Chesney and MC Beaton were the same person!

A different take on Regencies, from the viewpoint of those poor relations who aren't able to go about in society any more - although still with a Duke-level romance in the offing in this volume. Not sure if I'll go on with the series - perhaps sometime later.
Abigail Bok
Regency romance Lady Fortescue Steps Out was not what I expected. The works of Marion Chesney had been recommended to me as the best thing since Georgette Heyer, but sadly, for me this book did not rise to that level.

This is the first volume in a series titled The Poor Relation. The name refers not to an individual poor relation but to a group of poverty-stricken gentlemen and women living precariously in London, who band together to open a hotel by that name, using money raised through crime (t
I’d never read anything by Beaton before and this was a Kindle bargain, so...I like the poor relations getting revenge and some cash. Stupid Dukes hoarding everything. Yet another fixing-up-the-house story. (the first decade of motherhood I longed for more sleep and some time alone. The second decade I just want someone else to clean and repaint.)

I’ll definitely be checking out more of this series, and will probably try some of the mysteries, too. Beaton has a huge backlist: I love that in an a
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Marion Chesney Gibbons
aka: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, M.C. Beaton, Sarah Chester.

Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review variety shows and quickly
More about Marion Chesney...

Other Books in the Series

Poor Relation (6 books)
  • Miss Tonks Turns to Crime (Poor Relation, #2)
  • Mrs. Budley Falls from Grace (Poor Relation, #3)
  • Sir Philip's Folly  (Poor Relation, #4)
  • Colonel Sandhurst to the Rescue  (Poor Relation, #5)
  • Back in Society (Poor Relation, #6)
“may ask me anything.” “How long would it take to get a closed stove installed” 6 likes
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