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The Scandal of the Season

3.1  ·  Rating details ·  1,226 Ratings  ·  245 Reviews
Jane Austen meets Philip Roth in a sexy, sparkling debut novel reconstructing the real-life scandal that inspired Alexander Pope's famous poem "The Rape of the Lock."

London, 1711. The rich young offspring of the city's fashionable families fill their days with masquerade balls, opera engagements, and clandestine courtships. Leading the pursuit of pleasure are the beautifu
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Published July 12th 2007 by HighBridge Company (first published 2007)
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I bought this book on the strength of good reviews in the press, and was left disappointed. I too nearly put it down unfinished, which I have only very rarely done. A reviewer on Amazon asked why the book doesn't work, when Sophie Gee has a PhD in 18C literature and a clear passion for her subject - I think that's why. To me this book is an example of how not to turn an academic thesis and course of lectures into a novel.

Unfortunately, Ms Gee is intent on proving that this 'is not Austen' and to
Sarah Mac
Nope. I yield.

I've had this book for too long. It was a bargain-bin type thing I picked up 8+ years ago, & I should've attempted it back when it was new & shiny on my shelf -- because then I might actually have cared. Nowadays, I can safely attest to ZERO interest in Alexander Pope wandering around London to have conversations with various historical and/or fictional personages involved in the possible Catholic overthrow of the monarchy -- not to mention a thinly veiled novelization of
Aug 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

You can read this review on my blog, here.

The Scandal of the Season
by Sophie Gee

They say one should never judge a book by its cover, but the cover art on the latest paperback release of this book just screams “bodice ripper,” and I couldn’t help but assume that its content would likely follow suit. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that not only did this book cover a wide range of historical figures, but also, it was very well written! Gee really captured the essence of 18th Century England: f
The saving grace of this book was that it included the text of "The Rape of the Lock" in the back, meaning I got to read it again, which was great, because it is awesome and hilarious. And it was fun learning a bit about the backstory.

Beyond that, though, that I found this novel's pacing and dialogue and, well, prose in general consistently awkward and affected. Way too much telling, not enough showing. I know that writing historical fiction entirely through the eyes of actual figures can't be
Mah, mi è sembrata un po' un'occasione sprecata. Non c'è stato il tempo né il modo di approfondire i personaggi, e quindi non ho potuto più di tanto interessarmi alle loro vicende: non ho sentito affetto, preoccupazione, pietà, speranza per Arabella, non ho aspettato con ansia che Alexander ottenesse il suo meritato successo.
La storia è affascinante e avrebbe meritato molto di più - mi sono quasi più diverita a leggere la sorte dei personaggi nella vita reale alla fine del libro, e penso che qu
Mar 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alexander Pope fans, Historical fiction lovers, and English Literature enthusiasts
This was a wonderful and satisfying read. The book follows the life of author and poet Alexander Pope as he goes to London to find his fortune. It's a fictionalized (but well researched) account of how he came to write the poem that made his name "The Rape of the Lock." The book also follows Alexander's friends Martha and Teresea who too have come to London to make matches, as well as Arabella Fermor and Lord Petre, (the principals in "The Rape of the Lock" who go by the name of Belinda and The ...more
Sep 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like period pieces and Dangerous Liasons the movie you will love it! Even better, it is based on actual events of the early 1700's. The poem "The Rape of the Lock" was written about this same set of events by Alexander Pope - a character in the novel. At the end, the author sums up what happens to the actual people.
I got about 30 pages into it and it wasn't working for me. Went to the reviews on Amazon and got my answer. Not worth the time.

9/18/15. Lookee here.

Oct 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love "The Rape of the Lock" but this book is really dull and too modern, and, quite frankly, I didn't like the writing. Show me someone is proud, don't tell me over and over and over again.
Georgiana 1792
La storia del poema Il ricciolo rapito

Protagonista di questo romanzo è Alexander Pope, lo scrittore che è al terzo posto fra i più citati della letteratura inglese, dopo Shakespeare e Tennyson. Il libro — ricostruendo l’ambiente storico in cui si muoveva Pope, con accuratezza di dettagli — narra i primi passi del poeta nel mondo della poesia e la genesi del suo celeberrimo poema satirico Il ricciolo rapito (Rape of the lock 1712), in cui Pope descrive con stile epico — il poeta è noto anche per
Jean Marie
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-england
This was a very clever novel. Like many first time authors I've read, it did take me a while to adjust to Gee's style of writing, which invokes the era pretty well. I also applaud Gee for attempting to write a novel on the premise of a famous poem, which is harder than one would think. The story is of young lovers Arabella and Robert. She, a commoner of uncommon beauty and he a young nobleman. All placed among Queen Anne's England with an underlying current of Jacobite drama.
What is the meat of
Sep 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
his book was truly a wonderful literary historical fiction experience. I read The Rape of the Lock in my senior year of college, so I was glad the author included the entire poem at the end so I read that first to refresh my memory. I loved the author’s language in it. It was so rich and it really set the mood for the events that were happening. The characters were practically jumping off the page; I never had any picture of Alexander Pope in my mind, but now I do thanks to this book. Although t ...more
I liked this book...there was nothing earth shattering about it but then again, it doesn't promise to be anything but enjoyable.

What I like best is the dialogue...Gee writes her characters with such wit and with the exception of a couple of anachronisms, does a great job of capturing London in the 1700s. And with note that this story takes place about a century before Jane Austen and the somewhat "pristine" sexual culture of the nineteenth century, this book revealed a part of London's sexual mo
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I persevered with this, although at one stage in the middle I did feel like giving up. The problem was that the pace was so very slow, and it seemed like nothing was happening...and really both these observationsa re true to the end. But it also had flashes of brilliance, a paragraph or two that described emotions perfectly, or created some lovely picture in the reader's head. Indeed the best part of the whole thing for me was the ending paragraph of the first chapter, an increadibly ef ...more
The Book Maven
Gee's book tends to defy categorization. It's part mystery (really understated, however), part romance (again, understated), and mainly historical fiction. Set in early-eighteenth century London, it focuses on the aspiring writer Alexander Pope and his observations, aspirations, and private hopes. However, it focuses as well on the subjects of the poem that would eventually make his fortune, The Rape of the Lock, and how complicated, intricate, and fraught with disappointments the courtship proc ...more
May 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I listed to the audio version of this book. It got off to a very slow start in my opinion. Based on the basis of the story, the poet Alexander Pope and his writing of the poem The Rape of the Lock, I was hopeful this would be a a very interesting historical account of said event. It got a bit better half way through but it never got to the point of really good.

More than once I contemplated moving this to the "unfinished" shelf but since I was listening to it while doing a good bit of driving I
Kim Diebold
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It appears that I am in the minority regarding this review since I really loved this book! I have a passion for both English and history and this book fulfills both. The author is extremely knowledgeable on these subject matters and it is obvious that her thesis statement was the premise for this book. I love when an author is capable of using fictional characters to accurately portray the ambience of that time. This book Had me engaged and interested the entire time I look forward to future mat ...more
Mary Beth
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just happened to pick this one off the New Books shelf at the library and am very glad that I did. I learned a great deal about the poet Alexander Pope and also a great deal about karma.
Mi sono spesso chiesta se non fosse stato il caso di esorcizzare l'autrice durante la sua stesura di questo libro.
Come si spiegherebbe altrimanti l'abilità della sua penna nell'alternare perfette pagine di ambientazione storica, descrizioni di ambienti e dialoghi di impeccabile cortesia a improvvisi cambi di umore dove i suoi personaggi si ritrovano a "vomitare" perle di finezza come "mettimi la mano sulla fixx"?!
Non c'è altra spiegazione, possessione o bipolarismo!
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This poor book must have been such a struggle to sell. It's sexy, but without much sex--and it doesn't quite make for a romance since it's
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Moloch by: Recensione di A. D'Orrico su Sette/Magazine
Per il viaggio a Roma avevo con me questo romanzo di Sophie Gee, Lo scandalo della stagione, messo in borsa non senza qualche perplessità perché, al momento della difficile scelta su quale libro portare per le ore in treno, qualche pagina aperta a caso non mi aveva completamente convinta.

L'autrice è una giovanissima docente di letteratura inglese a Princeton e, per il suo esordio nella narrativa, ha scelto di romanzare un episodio avvenuto nella Londra del 1711, che aveva già dato lo spunto ad A
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aww-previous, 2016
London, 1711. As the rich, young offspring of the city's most fashionable families þll their days with masquerade balls and clandestine court-ships, Arabella Fermor and Robert, Lord Petre, lead the pursuit of pleasure. Beautiful and vain, Arabella is a clever coquette with a large circle of beaus. Lord Petre, seventh Baron of Ingatestone, is a man-about-town with his choice of mistresses. Drawn together by an overpowering attraction, the two begin an illicit affair.

Alexander Pope, sickly and nea
Mishka Jenkins
This book is a fictionalised version of an actual historical event. A soon-to-be baron, Lord Robert Petre, seduces London’s beauty, Arabella Fermor, whilst he is also involved in a Jacobite plot to assassinate the Queen and put the exiled prince on the throne.

Sounds exciting, right?

It was supposed to be a sexy, thrilling story of a scandalous affair whilst being dangerous with all the Jacobite intrigue.

But when I got to the end of this book, I was just kind of like, ‘What actually happened in t
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: elib-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
According to the Author's Note at the beginning of the book, England changed from a Catholic to Protestant country in the 16th century when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and stripped the Catholic Church of its wealth. Catholicism, however, was never quelled; even though the official religion of England was Protestantism, vast numbers of Englishmen remained true to Catholicism. The Catholics resented the Protestants for taking away their wealth and privilege and the Protestants feared a Ca ...more
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know I shouldn't judge but that book cover is just so sexy and alluring that I just had to pick it up. I knew I could not leave the shop without this book. I am SO SO SO GLAD I picked this up. It is just wonderful and would have gotten full 5 stars together with the greats had the ending not been so... bland.

It's Queen Anne's England, well at least the last 3 years of it. The book starts with Alexander Pope's first person POV (narrated as 3rd person) but then shifts into different POVs within
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pleasant surprise, the story leading up to the writing of THE RAPE OF THE LOCK, and presenting a rather interesting picture of the social milieu in which this occurred. Catholics are still walking on eggs after the Ten Mile Act; young ladies in the city for The Season are learning what they believe are the proper flirtatious ploys that might snag a rich husband. Yet so many of them struggling to hide the fact that they might be from families that are experiencing debt problems which w ...more
Dec 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction
This book opens in 1711 when the idle rich were the focus of attention in England. It must have been ghastly to be among the idle rich since, for lack of a life purpose, they seemed to do nothing but make trouble for themselves.

The "scandal" involves Alexander Pope, a poet, and what prompted him to write the satire, The Rape Of The Lock. Annabella Fermor and Lord Robert Petre are the subjects of this satire which went on to make Alexander Pope famous.

As historical fiction, this book is interest
Jul 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent book but one that may have taken a few too many liberties with the social conventions of the time to make an interesting story for us. With any book of historical fiction, I am constantly distracted by the question of how accurate the book is to the time and events it portrays. Some ring truer than others; this book falling into the latter group. Sadly, I'm not in a good position to do my own research, though what little information I could find about the actual events that inspired "Th ...more
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Sophie Gee was born in Sydney in 1974 and grew up in Paddington. She attended the University of Sydney, where she graduated in 1995 with a first-class honors degree in English. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on Evelyn Waugh, still one of her favorite writers.

After university, Sophie won a scholarship to Harvard, where she did a Ph.D. in English literature. She wrote her doctoral thesis about
More about Sophie Gee...

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