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A Little Folly

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  862 ratings  ·  174 reviews
A witty and romantic novel of Regency love, family and appalling scandal, from a latter-day Jane Austen

When their strait-laced, domineering father, Sir Clement Carnell, dies, Valentine throws open their Devonshire estate of Pennacombe to their fashionable cousins from London and Louisa feels free at last to reject the man Sir Clement wanted her to marry.

Soon, the temptatio
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by St. Martin's Press (first published March 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  862 ratings  ·  174 reviews

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Dec 19, 2015 rated it liked it
This review originally appeared on my blog Shoulda Coulda Woulda Books.

I don't have a good track record with Austen pastiches. And it's gotten worse as time has gone on. At first it was kind of fun to go for the "Austen, but with all the sexy bits you wished were there", but that got old fast. As did the people who basically just borrowed her world and characters as a selling point and then proceeded to write novels based on each of the minor characters that seemed to have little or nothing to d
What can I say? It is Jude Morgan's Regency romance. If you know and like Indiscretion (my review) or An Accomplished Woman (my review) you will like it too.

The novel is witty, amusing, enjoyable. There are plenty funny sentence and dialogues like in the above mentioned books and in Georgette Heyer's Regency romances.

Miss Rose in this demonstrating the peculiar talent of those who proclaim their absence of self-esteem for getting a lot of attention by pretending they never get any

I think there i
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very pleased with how this book went! similar to Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen, but with its own style and humor as well. The characters are well drawn and realistic and there's plenty of surprises all the way. ...more
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I spent the first several chapters of this book thinking "What's the point of reading this when I could be reading Jane Austen?"

Then something clicked. Perhaps it was Morgan's clever turns of phrase:

"She would not allow praises to go to her head:--but they might be allowed to reach as far as her eyes, which, when she saw herself reflected in the hall mirror as they left, certainly seemed uncommonly bright."

"...he lounged away in a cloud of pomade and exclamation marks."

Or perhaps his clear-eyed
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is Jude Morgan's third novel written in the style of Jane Austen (following INDISCRETION and AN ACCOMPLISHED WOMAN). These three novels are light period pieces of social commentary on life in the 1800s. All three are beautifully written and are especially appreciated by those readers like myself who wish that Jane Austen had written many more novels in her lifetime. I must say, however, that this novel, in particular, reads as if it had been a collaborative effort of Austen and Georgette He ...more
Jamie Collins
A lovely Regency romance novel, something I’d particularly recommend to fans of Georgette Heyer. Most books that can be labeled “Austen-lite” are terrible, but Heyer pulled it off, and so does Morgan. This is delightfully well written.

It’s lighter than Indiscretion and more comedic. My favorite secondary character is the spinster cousin determined to be neglected and uncomfortable:

"Not that Miss Rose was any trouble: indeed, it was the very aim and desire of her life not to be so, as she was con
Charlotte Brothers
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book immensely. Any fans of witty, slow-burning love stories like those by Austen and Heyer would agree.
Jude Morgan's handle on the times (Regency) and most importantly, the vocabulary, of the great English classics is superb. The language makes the story clever and beautiful and obviously written by a master and not a dabbler.
If you like Jane Austen and/or Georgette Heyer, this is the book for you.

Personally, there was too much "homage" being paid to Austen in the form of characters, plot points, and dialogue. If I wanted to read Pride and Prejudice, I would just read it, you know?

Still a good book, though.
Pamela Shropshire
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my first time reading Jude Morgan, although I have been aware of her work for a couple of years now. Her work is considered to be in the vein of Jane Austen, although from an historical perspective and minus the sharp social commentary that marks Austen’s novels. I would compare her more to Georgette Heyer, although without the farcical elements that Heyer employed so distinctively.

Louisa Carnell and her brother, Valentine, were raised in Devonshire by their father, following the death o
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Most modern Regency romance authors make me cringe, and I usually have to put the novel down. You want authentic Regency, JM does it best for a modern author. You can't really beat the oldies. As usual, his beautiful writing style is well done and doesn't fail to stay true to the time era, yet still being truly his own. Highly recommend for Austen lovers. ...more

Valentine and Louisa Carnell have lived under the iron thumb of their father their whole lives. Now he is dead and they decide it's time to start living their lives. Their first big act of "defiance" is to open the doors of their home to a party. Louisa dreads the idea of entertaining because it means she must invite the autocratic Pearce Lynley, the man her father wished her to marry. Louisa has no desire to marry Mr. Lynley but isn't quite sure how to stand up to him and tell him so. When thei
The Lit Bitch
If you like Jane Austen’s novels, you will find a lot to like in this book. It’s a little bit of Emma and Pride and Prejudice mixed together in a slightly more modern cocktail. I loved the witty banter and language that Morgan used in the character dialogs, that made it more of an updated Austen type novel.

From the first chapter the singular thing that bothered me was the brother’s name–Valentine. I could never warm up to his character or feel sympathy for him simply because I didn’t care for hi
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: regency, historical
Read it, loved it.
Through the whole, my heart was always with Louisa and Valentine(siblings), and I could not but be compassionate with all things they went through - be it at their own accord or not. They are naive but soo innocent and just darlings and what I liked the best was their relationship even when the majority of times they do not interact as such.

There is a lot you can take from the book, and I think Jude Morgan did a fabulous job about it.
It's in some way a mesh up of all Jane
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: georgian-regency
This was basically a rip-off of Emma with a little P&P thrown in. But slow, boring and no chemistry between the characters.
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very much like Jane Austen but without the cheese factor of other authors who try to imitate her. Loved this book!
Nov 27, 2014 added it
Shelves: abandoned
Just couldn't get into this one...after a hundred pages I still didn't feel really connected to the characters. Put it down, but I wouldn't rule out trying again. ...more
Halley Sutton
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So thoroughly enjoyable.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-regency
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
My word!

There, I had to start off by sounding a little Regency-esq.

But truthfully, this novel was fantastic. I am an avid fan of Regency-era romances and, due to my hunger for them, will read even those which aren't the most...historically-accurate, shall we say? The Lisa Kleypas' and Julia Quinns of the Regency world. Which isn't to say I'm a snob; I enjoy those novels very much. Lisa Kleypas' Wallflowers series is one of my favorites. However, I will admit: a part of my soul is always desper
Feb 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
A sweet and gentle examination of a brother and sister who decide to undertake the enterprise of living upon the demise of their harsh and tyrannical father. Such an overbearing and omniscient influence as that of the late Mr. Carnell is not so easily shaken off though, and thus it is that Valentine and Louisa find themselves indulging in a little folly, now that they have the freedom to do so.

This book wasn't the charming read that Indiscretion was but nonetheless it was engaging even as it wa
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Having enjoyed two previous novels by Jude Morgan: An Accomplished Woman and Indiscretion, I grabbed this from the new books shelf at the library the other day to savor over the weekend. It was a pleasant reading journey, but not as dynamic as the other two stories. A Little Folly centers around Louisa Carnell and her brother Valentine who have been strictly brought up by an autocratic father in the Devonshire countryside. At his death, they make a promise to live life to the fullest; they begin ...more
Lady Salford
The story centers mostly around a brother and sister, who have lived a rather secluded life because of their strict father. Following his death, they start to live and try to do what they want and leave off the influence of their late father. A tumultuous adventure where they adjust to having independence of thought and not lose their reputation in the process by engaging in a little bit of folly.

The heroine's love interest was the main draw for me in this story. His wry humourous wit quickly e
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Jude Morgan's novels Passion and A Taste of Sorrow, based on famous literary lives (the Shelley-Byron circle, the Brontes.) A Little Folly is fiction of a much lighter kind: Regency romance, pitched somewhere between Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. I must admit it isn't a genre I particularly care for, and I nearly gave up midway. But by the end, the quality of Morgan's writing won me over. He is a multi-genre author who has published under three names, and it seems he has something for ...more
Shahd Thani
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely beyond beautiful. The language, the insight, the way the writer handled complexities. Utterly breathtaking. the kind of book u close with a sigh and hug before letting it go.
Julia Wilson
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An almost perfect book, at least for fans of Jane Austen. Sly humor and enough plot twists to entertain.
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jude Morgan is heaven
Dec 21, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The plotting is a lot sharper and more evenly paced than Indiscretion and it's cleverer. The author has built in an theme of influence that threads throughout the novel - when do you listen to influence and when do you resist? The heroine is likeable if a little frustratingly dense at times. I also liked the hero better than Indiscretion's. There were a few moments that rang a little false to me, however - one gibe about women never talking sense which is probably period appropriate but very unp ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've read and re-read Morgan's three Regency romances a few times and they don't pall. They are closer to Heyer homages than Austen. Heyer, writing from a (comparatively) more liberal era for women, never quite captured that paper-thin divide between the delightful, empty existence of an upper-class woman and that of all other women. Austen hints at the terrible things that happen to women unlucky enough not to captivate a Darcy, even if they all happen offstage; Heyer doesn't bother to hint at ...more
Lily Evangeline
Apr 28, 2021 rated it liked it
Not quite Georgette Heyer, though you can see he's trying.

A good romp, but mostly forgettable. There's quite a lot of "subverting of expectations" in the various caricatures throughout the book, which was good fun. Jude Morgan does have an excellent, wry sense of humor, and there are a couple of conversations in the book (or narrative commentary) that were just absolutely hilarious. That said, overall the book falls a little flat, though I couldn't pinpoint exactly why--maybe just that the mome
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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 wrote under the names T.R. Wilson and Hannah March.

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“Miss Rose in this demonstrating the peculiar talent of those who proclaim their absence of self-esteem for getting a lot of attention by pretending they never get any” 2 likes
“Still, some might say it was her duty to endure it. But she could not sacrifice self-respect on the altar of convention. That's rather a good phrase, isn't it? I must have read it somewhere.” 2 likes
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