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An Accomplished Woman

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  955 ratings  ·  206 reviews
As a young woman, clever, self-reliant Lydia Templeton scandalised society by rejecting Lewis Durrant, the county's most eligible bachelor. Ten years later, Lydia has no regrets and, having concluded that matters of the heart need no longer trouble her, she is quite happy to remain unwed.

But others still seek Lydia's advice on their love lives, and when her godmother implo
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Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 9th 2007 by Headline Review (first published 2007)
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  955 ratings  ·  206 reviews


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Laura
Jul 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-and-fun
In spite of a slow start, this was diverting enough that the author’s obvious looting of Jane Austen characters and situations didn’t give me heartburn. Our heroine, Lydia, is as sure of herself as Emma, as ruled by her sense of reason as Elinor Dashwood, and even more outspoken than Elizabeth Bennet. And, like Anne Elliot, she turned down a proposal in her youth and is now on the precipice of confirmed spinsterhood. However, Lydia is content to be single, as it affords her the freedom to pursue ...more
Kelly
This review first appeared on my blog Shoulda Coulda Woulda Books.

This is my third Morgan. Two main things to say, really: First, I liked it better than either of the others by him I've read so far, and second, I think I understand why so many people seem to have a problem with him.

This book centers on a thirty-year old single woman named Lydia Templeton. Of course, this being a novel that models itself after Regency social comedies, that "single" status matters rather a lot to the plot. Ten yea
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Vanda Field
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hi,
I've been prompted to join this site and write a comment solely on the basis of the disparaging reviews of Jude Morgan's An Accomplished Woman. I must admit I was surprised - not, of course, on the diversity of opinions - but moreso on the extreme denouncements of those who gave the book a very low rating. I have difficulty in understanding how those reviewers who, as they are subscribers to the site and to this specific area of the site, must have a general liking and appreciation for this g
...more
Sophie
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
What a delight to find an author who respects the art of the historical novel, who cares about accuracy, and who creates characters that seem like products of their era. An Accomplished Woman is a joy to read and I loved immersing myself in country walks, Bath assemblies, and post-chaise chases. Jude Morgan writes about adult characters who have witty conversations and generally behave precisely as we imagine people in the Regency would behave. How refreshing that even though the heroine, Lydia ...more
Wealhtheow
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of regency romances
Shelves: historical, regency
Lydia is that most beloved of Regency heroines, a woman past her "prime" but with a quick wit and an entertaining inner monologue. After turning down a marriage proposal in her youth, she has spent the last decade going to art exhibits, translating old texts, and in every way living a satisyfing life of the mind. But then her godmother asks her for a favor, and Lydia finds herself escourting a pretty young heiress around Bath. And though Phoebe is smart and has good taste in every other respect, ...more
Mela
It is a great example how should be written Regency romances. Wittily, with adequate language (vocabulary), with complex, interesting characters, with surprising plot twists.

What can I add? There are characters you think you understand but then someone did something you hadn't foreseen. Nonetheless, after he did it you knew than it make sense. Just like it is in the real world with the people you don't know much.

This book/story is evidently completely thought out. A really good job.

I laught a fe
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Res
Sep 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
The one where bluestocking spinster Lydia is persuaded, against her better judgment, to accompany a young woman to Bath and help her choose between two suitors.

I loved the writing. I hated the characterization.

The story is beautifully told, with all sorts of delightful moments of insight and wit. ("How do you like the music?" "Artificial," he snapped, "miserably artificial," and he stared away, leaving Lydia to the interesting philosophic exercise of imagining what music with no artifice would
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Jamie Collins
This is an old-fashioned Regency romance from a modern writer; something very like a Georgette Heyer novel. It’s well written and great fun to read.

Admittedly, this book is weaker than Morgan’s Indiscretion and A Little Folly, mostly because it borrows too noticeably from Jane Austen’s plots and characters. (The nudge-and-wink of having characters muse about “sense” and “sensibility” didn’t help.) Based on that observation, I thought this must be the earliest of these three books, and I was surp
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Ilze
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: jude-morgan
Interesting and very well-written, but drags in places, especially in the first part of the book.  Less than the sum of its parts, unfortunately. 
 
A few things bothered me throughout the story: 
 
Lydia Templeton and Lewis Durrant are the main characters and are supposed to be crazy in love with each other, and have been so for 10 years. But Lydia turned down Lewis' offer of marriage nine years ago and ever since has pretended outwardly and to herself that she doesn't care about him. Well, no, ro
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QNPoohBear
Though set in 1799, this book could have been written by Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer, therefore, I place it in the Regency category.
Thirty year-old Lydia Templeton in as accomplished woman, a bluestocking, well-educated in the classics and coolly determined not to let her heart, or any man, rule her. Though Lydia dreams of travel, she is happy at home with her father in the country,writing literary criticism and trading verbal jabs with their cynical bachelor neighbor, Lewis Durrant, whose ha
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Krista
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked this one better than A Little Folly. Maybe because the lead character is one of those politely sarcastic females, dripping their futile world-changing toxins within the constrains of a society that does not allow women to be powerful or single-minded.

Morgan again delights with his writing style and his sharp, observant tongue, which fits so well here because of his sharp, observant leading lady:

"Susannah did not so much sit down as demonstrate sitting down's beautiful possibilities. From
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Caz
As others have said, this book is a little slow to start, and it felt, to me, as though the opening chapter was somewhat of an irelevance. But once the story got going, I found myself eager to find out what happened next - even though it was fairly obvious how things were going to turn out!

Lydia Templeton bears many similarities to Emma Woodhouse, in that she lives with her father (thankfully, Dr Templeton seems to be rather more sensible than Mr Woodhouse!) and is a woman of independent means w
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Katharine
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Years ago I saw a recommendation for Jude Morgan's regency romances, something like "If you like Georgette Heyer then try..." But he seems to be a little bit obscure because I've never run across any of his novels until last month when I found one at the library book sale. I immediately snapped it up and started reading in down moments while we were working on the house. It IS like Heyer, and in fact many of the tropes are recycled from classic Heyer - trip to Bath, heroine banters with somewhat ...more
Suzanne
Aug 09, 2009 rated it liked it
The 3 stars is an average of the rating I would have given the beginning, 1, combined with the rating I would have given the ending, 5. I pushed myself through the first 200 pages or so because the author has a brilliant way with a simile. For example:

"Lydia was precisely divided between agreement with what Mr. Durrant said, and disgust at the arrogance with which he said it: emotionally the effect was like one of those sneezes that do not quite come."

That's just one example; there are many eleg
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D.G. Rampton
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a newbie when it comes to Jude Morgan and I have to say I'm charmed!

He (I understand the author is a he?) writes with a wonderful, rich style that is truly reminiscent of Jane Austen, and in part Georgette Heyer. He takes his time with evolving the storyline; a luxury of which most writers don't avail themselves. Everything I read these days seems to be fast-paced, and, unfortunately, this only leads to threadbare characters who hold a temporary, shallow appeal that leaves you feeling unsat
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Leslie Zampetti
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Morgan's clever pastiche of Austen knocks the many recent imitations and sequelae out of the park! Light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek - Morgan's frequent references to tippling wine as a refuge for spinster ladies, especially - yet as tartly amusing as Austen herself, An Accomplished Woman manages to mock the Heyer ideal of Regency romance while at the same time abiding by its conventions. Morgan's tone is eerily similar to Austen's while remaining indefatigably modern.

Truly enjoyable and and a defi
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Jess
May 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition


Dear author,

Stop trying so hard. I mean, I get it. You've read Austen. Guess what! I have too. But you know what? Austen was readable. You? You're ponderous, plodding, and trying to show us how brilliantly cute you are. Stop trying to be so damn cunning and just tell an enjoyable story. Tricks and idiosyncrasies in storytelling can be great. But only if you know how to use them.

You, good sir, do not.

xoxoj
Hirondelle
Dec 11, 2010 rated it liked it
A regency novel in the style of Georgette Heyer indeed, the plot itself could be perfectly a GH novel. The writing is nice, the dialogue oftentimes brilliant, and there are some reliable horrible characters to love loathing. But somehow, as in Indiscretion (and unlike Heyer), my emotional involvement with the characters is quite shallow. In all a nice cozy read but also oddly slow. Seems unfair to criticize a book for making me love it but true.

Pg 332 - lovely hommage to Jane Austen!
Rebekah
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jude Morgan is a skilled writer with a quirky, eccentric style. He changes tenses and points of view. He almost randomly inserts colons everywhere. He uses colons like he went to a colon firesale and bought every one. There is a witty turn of phrase, observation, or piece of cleverness on almost every page. We roll our eyes or smile with (or at) almost all of the characters. Sometimes we even laugh out loud at the frequently amusing dialogue and observations.

The plot is woven from the plot line
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Karen Hogan
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF. Very slow start to this regency romance by a new author who mimics the writing of Jane Austen. It did not pull me in by page 52, so I let it go.
Anita
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book opens with a charming scene at an art exhibition with a Regency Miss lamenting on the cavalier treatment of her beloved brother by the woman he worshipped and who had cast him aside without a second thought.

Lydia Templeton listens sympathetically and although I guessed early on she was the woman in question, I was still thoroughly entertained by their interchange and Lydia's bewilderment with a man whose favour she had attracted by no more effort than by, 'Suppressing my yawns in his
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Aneca
Sep 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve heard Morgan being compared to Heyer and Austen and while his characters seemed to me to have a more modern voice there’s no doubt that I found it a pleasantly enjoyable read.


Lydia Templeton is a single woman and very independent. A few years ago she refused her neighbor’s, Lewis Durrant, offer of marriage. But they have remained on friendly terms and while finding him a bit stuffy and boring she does in fact enjoy their conversations. Lydia has no regrets about refusing him, she much pref
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Hazel
Oct 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Maybe two and a half stars. Someone recommended Jude Morgan as a man who writes like Georgette Heyer. Of course, I didn't believe it, but I thought it might be fun. I was right on both counts.

This is nowhere near as light as Heyer. In fact, it feels rather ponderous, and the characters didn't hold my interest. I didn't really care which young gentleman the secondary female lead ended up with, and of course the main hero and heroine were obvious from the start. But Morgan has clearly studied Jane
...more
Clare Cannon
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Jude Morgan novels could be taken for those by Georgette Heyer, though perhaps on the whole they are not quite as quick and snappy. We meet similar Austen-inspired characters placed in Regency-flavoured England, and are treated to an abundance of quick-witted dialogue in place of deeply explored themes.

Where both Morgan and Heyer differ from Austen is in the credibility and depth of the story: Austen wrote of real people facing real struggles, while here we find semi-comedic characters whose mai
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MAP
3.5 stars.

I LOVED Jude Morgan's Indiscretion and so sought out his other books that are in the same vein. This book was similar, and it was good, but it was missing that umph that Indiscretion had. While Indescretion felt like an Austen novel, this book felt like it was TRYING to be an Austen novel, both in terms of style and plot. In terms of style, there was just something forced about a lot of the wittiness, and the book sometimes was a little too proud of being "clever" -- like the time the
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Michelle
Lydia is a clever, talented, young woman in the Regency era who is approaching the age of 30, and after rejecting a proposal from the neighbor, Mr. Lewis Durrant, seems happily disposed to never marrying. We see her wicked sense of humor when she pretends not to be herself to a woman who believes she has led her brother on romantically in the opening chapters. Lydia is asked by her godmother to take on chaperoning in Bath her ward, Phoebe, who in her opening Season in London has attracted the at ...more
Gina Dalfonzo
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Morgan pays affectionate tribute to all things Austen. I enjoyed the first half enormously . . . the second half, not quite as much. Morgan's style is witty and delightful, and he works in clever references to all of Austen's major works (perhaps some of her minor ones, too, for all I know!). He has some uproariously funny turns of phrase. But he doesn't have Austen's knack for probing beneath the surface and revealing that there's more to a character than we first thought. Instead, his characte ...more
Mo
Dec 12, 2012 rated it liked it
The main reason that I did not rate this book any higher was simply because it did not capture me. I did not pick it up with any degree of eagerness. It was more of a feeling, “Oh, I really should finish reading that book… or maybe take a nap instead”!

I liked the fact that the author was true to the Regency period for the most part, but I did have some quibbling issues with the book.

I thought there was WAY too much discussion of personal matters (sometimes between comparative strangers) to be be
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Zurks
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was really looking forward to this book, probably because I enjoy Regency romance and this collected dust on my to-read list. I don't like a book to be a complete copy of Jane Austen or uses her characters. I don't want to read Mr Darcy's view so this was great in that respect.

This was too long for what it was, there were pages of pointlessness that could have been edited out, the book didn't really get moving until over halfway through.

I didn't mind the ending, except for one rejected suitor
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Magill
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Hmmm. Having recently read "Indiscretion" which I enjoyed, I wanted to try another. Initially I enjoyed it, but then the shine started to come off. Shades of "Emma" by Jane Austen, but Mr. Durrant was quite harsh and the interactions between Lydia and Mr. Durrant seemed somewhat unpleasant. Then Lydia's motivations not to go to Bath and then go to Bath made little sense to me, so that entire section of the book was a wash. Then the entire back and forth, first for Phoebe and then Lydia simply be ...more
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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.
“Probably no purer incitement to hatred existed, Lydia had found, than being told of anyone or anything: you will love him, her or it. The spirit immediately rose up like a fanged cobra.” 6 likes
“The stupidest people suddenly become a little cleverer when we learn that they think well of us” 3 likes
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