Maria Ella's Reviews > A Weekend at Blenheim: A Novel

A Weekend at Blenheim by J.P. Morrissey
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's review
Mar 26, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: gothic-victorian-edwardian, 2012-reading-challenge, classic

Having this book bought at Php10 is AWESOME! I just can't believe I bought a goodread at a cheap price.

Just to share something: The setting of the story is 30-40 miles outside the Oxford University centre. I went to the University, yes, but not outside of it. And if you are a typical tourist that doesn't regularly see a majestic palace, this is the postcard view:

A Weekend at Blenheim is the first novel by JP Morrissey that touches an episode in the lives of the Churchills in their grandiose estate of Blenheim Palace. A statehome located in Woostock, Oxfordshire, It was the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough.

An Ewardian novel, the story is about an American draftsman named John Vanbrugh employed by the Duchess of Marlborough, Consuelo Vanderbilt, to renovate her quarters at the Blenheim estate. John, having the same name as the original architect and a playwright who designed the mansion, is the main decision he was tasked to design and further encouraged by his English wife, Margaret Barton-Vanbrugh.

John and Margaret stayed at Blenheim with other guests: the Duke of Marlborough, his cousin Winston Churchill, the painter Sargent, and the Duchess' friend Ms. Deacon. It was pleasant until one night, the servant maid to Margaret was killed and buried in the crypt of the Palace Chapel.

Considered as a gothic mystery, the novel is established on a historical imprint with picturesque descriptions of the setting. Told at the first person perspective, the reader is easily immersed in the depicting terms of the manor's architype, as it is to the events happening around the place. A remarkable addition to the plot is the conversations and philosophies exchange between the guests and the conception of weaknesses, strengths and intrigues of male and female sexes. In this enthralling and atmospheric tale of murder, revenge, and redemption, it can give the same chill and curiosity from reading Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, the latter being set in the Tudor era.

This is not as amazing as the other victorian classics, but this can be used as a material for creating a movie about the Churchills. After all, I have not seen any fictitious controversy in Winston Churchill flicks (maybe because I haven't seen any movie about that politician).
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Reading Progress

March 26, 2012 – Started Reading
March 26, 2012 – Shelved
March 26, 2012 –
page 1
0.31% "GOTHIC NOVELS - one challenge on my part. I have to breathe and think and speak like the old englishmen. I LIKE! :D"
March 28, 2012 –
page 64
20.0% "Naiimagine ko na katabi ko lang ang mga Duke at mga Kondesa. Nakakawiling libro. :)"
March 29, 2012 –
page 133
41.56% "This is longer than I thought. I hope I can finish this before month-end production starts again. I am learning English Monarchy again - its politics and its customs. :)"
March 30, 2012 – Shelved as: gothic-victorian-edwardian
March 30, 2012 – Finished Reading
March 28, 2013 – Shelved as: 2012-reading-challenge
March 28, 2013 – Shelved as: classic

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