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The Scandal of the Season

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The Scandal of the Season Cover

ISBN13: 9781416540564
ISBN10: 1416540563
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 nearly penniless, is peripheral by birth, yet his uncommon wit and ambition gain him unlikely entrance into high society. Once there, privy to every nuance and drama, he is a ruthless observer. He longs for the success that will cement his place in society; all he needs is one poem grand enough to make his reputation.

As the forbidden passion between Arabella and Lord Petre deepens, an intrigue of a darker nature threatens to overtake them. Fortunes change and reputations — even lives — are imperiled. In the aftermath, Pope discovers the idea for a daring poem that will catapult him to fame and fortune.

Review:

"'Hunchbacked satirist poet Alexander Pope finds inspiration in the foibles of 18th-century London's young, rich and arrogant in Gee's shrewd debut, an erudite period piece filled with outrageous flirtation, social maneuvering and contests of wit. The low-born Pope is permitted entry to London's upper echelons after some of his poems gain a gilded readership, and his literary ambitions and adventures in the city with childhood friends Martha and Teresa Blount are offset by the passionate but clandestine romance between the beautiful Arabella Fermor (who happens to be related to the Blounts), and the haughty Lord Petre, whose involvement in a plot to assassinate the queen lands him in a tight spot. The stories intersect when Pope immortalizes the lovers' high-class intrigue in a scalding poem. The novel is sprinkled with literary cameos and jokes English lit majors will appreciate, while crackling verbal one-upmanship and crude double entendres should keep the hoi polloi turning pages. The main disappointment is that Pope's much talked about poems never appear in full. But that's a small blemish, and Gee's take on the Paris Hilton — like figures who pranced through London 300 years ago manages to be simultaneously tabloid bawdy and academy proper.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"After its title, interest in 'The Rape of the Lock' falls off dramatically. The 794-line poem that took London by storm in the early 18th century and established Alexander Pope's reputation now rarely appears outside of college English courses and is probably rarely read inside of them. Whether they realize it or not, most people know a few of his phrases — 'Hope springs eternal,' 'A little learning... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"A seduction reminiscent of Dangerous Liaisons, with the crackling historical mystery of An Instance of the Fingerpost. The Scandal of the Season captures the breezy poetic romance of Shakespeare in Love, recast to star Alexander Pope." Ian Caldwell, author ofThe Rule of Four

Review:

"With The Scandal of the Season, Sophie Gee gives us that rarest of pleasures: a tale at once intelligent and frothy, richly edifying and compulsively readable. Combining her eye for details with her flair for narrative suspense, Gee recreates the glamour, intrigue and treachery of Alexander Pope's London: a captivating world that I was sad to leave when I reached the book's final page." Caroline Weber, author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution

Review:

"Sophie Gee's dazzling, sophisticated novel is a clever re-imagining of Alexander Pope's famous poem and a wildly entertaining tale in its own right. The romance and adventure of The Scandal of the Season will seduce readers from the first page." Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

Review:

"With passion and flair, The Scandal of the Season animates an intriguing period of literary history, fleshed out in fluid, intricate, and seductive writing. Every reader will enjoy the wit and subtlety in the novel's dangerous, delicate balance of eighteenth-century customs and transgressions. What a first impression! Sophie Gee's debut novel signals her unique expertise and a great career ahead." Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club and The Poe Shadow

Review:

"A reader unfamiliar with The Rape of the Lock will leave this work without a more holistic sense of the richness of the original, and, by extension, a key motivation for telling this story. But while this might hold less 18th-century passion and intrigue than the original poem, it is still an enjoyable tale." Charlotte Observer

Review:

"Occasionally, the overabundance of historical detail intrudes, slowing the pace and distancing the reader from the characters with references to their actual existence as historical personages....Nevertheless, this work is highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Gee writes with scholarly confidence, underpinning the racy intrigue of her account with a real understanding of the characters and their world." New Yorker

About the Author

Sophie Gee is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Princeton. Born in Australia, she graduated from the University of Sydney and received her Ph.D. in English from Harvard. She was recently named a John E. Annan Bicentennial Preceptor, the highest distinction that can be given to a member of Princeton's junior faculty.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

KellyT, January 10, 2008 (view all comments by KellyT)
An interesting -- and on the whole successful -- hybrid of serious scholarship, historical biography, and, yes, chick lit. Princeton professor Sophie Gee imagines the real-life story behind Alexander Pope's poetic masterpiece, "The Rape of the Lock." You'll find the story of the affair behind the poem either deliciously sexy or eye-rollingly over-the-top. But the portraits of ambition in various forms -- whether the person is seeking fame and fortune through art (Pope), marriage (the woman who inspired "Rape") or glory (her Jacobite paramour) -- are, without doubt, full of insight.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
glanca5555, November 14, 2007 (view all comments by glanca5555)
A very enjoyable historical fiction about the creation of Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock. The author, a professor of literature, has put her extensive research about this period of history to good use, creating a slice of London life you can smell and feel. The sex scenes are particularly fun.
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(8 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416540564
Author:
Gee, Sophie
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Courtship
Subject:
England
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Biographical fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
August 2007
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
351
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Scandal of the Season Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.50 In Stock
Product details 351 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781416540564 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Hunchbacked satirist poet Alexander Pope finds inspiration in the foibles of 18th-century London's young, rich and arrogant in Gee's shrewd debut, an erudite period piece filled with outrageous flirtation, social maneuvering and contests of wit. The low-born Pope is permitted entry to London's upper echelons after some of his poems gain a gilded readership, and his literary ambitions and adventures in the city with childhood friends Martha and Teresa Blount are offset by the passionate but clandestine romance between the beautiful Arabella Fermor (who happens to be related to the Blounts), and the haughty Lord Petre, whose involvement in a plot to assassinate the queen lands him in a tight spot. The stories intersect when Pope immortalizes the lovers' high-class intrigue in a scalding poem. The novel is sprinkled with literary cameos and jokes English lit majors will appreciate, while crackling verbal one-upmanship and crude double entendres should keep the hoi polloi turning pages. The main disappointment is that Pope's much talked about poems never appear in full. But that's a small blemish, and Gee's take on the Paris Hilton — like figures who pranced through London 300 years ago manages to be simultaneously tabloid bawdy and academy proper.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A seduction reminiscent of Dangerous Liaisons, with the crackling historical mystery of An Instance of the Fingerpost. The Scandal of the Season captures the breezy poetic romance of Shakespeare in Love, recast to star Alexander Pope."
"Review" by , "With The Scandal of the Season, Sophie Gee gives us that rarest of pleasures: a tale at once intelligent and frothy, richly edifying and compulsively readable. Combining her eye for details with her flair for narrative suspense, Gee recreates the glamour, intrigue and treachery of Alexander Pope's London: a captivating world that I was sad to leave when I reached the book's final page."
"Review" by , "Sophie Gee's dazzling, sophisticated novel is a clever re-imagining of Alexander Pope's famous poem and a wildly entertaining tale in its own right. The romance and adventure of The Scandal of the Season will seduce readers from the first page."
"Review" by , "With passion and flair, The Scandal of the Season animates an intriguing period of literary history, fleshed out in fluid, intricate, and seductive writing. Every reader will enjoy the wit and subtlety in the novel's dangerous, delicate balance of eighteenth-century customs and transgressions. What a first impression! Sophie Gee's debut novel signals her unique expertise and a great career ahead."
"Review" by , "A reader unfamiliar with The Rape of the Lock will leave this work without a more holistic sense of the richness of the original, and, by extension, a key motivation for telling this story. But while this might hold less 18th-century passion and intrigue than the original poem, it is still an enjoyable tale."
"Review" by , "Occasionally, the overabundance of historical detail intrudes, slowing the pace and distancing the reader from the characters with references to their actual existence as historical personages....Nevertheless, this work is highly recommended."
"Review" by , "Gee writes with scholarly confidence, underpinning the racy intrigue of her account with a real understanding of the characters and their world."
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