Synopses & 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 beautiful Arabella Fermor, with her circle of beaus, and Robert Petre, seventh Baron of Ingatestone, a man-about-town with his choice of mistresses.
Small, sickly, and almost penniless, Alexander Pope is peripheral by birth, yet his dazzling wit and ambition gain him unlikely entrance into high society. Privy to every nuance and drama, he is a brilliant and ruthless observer. As the forbidden passion between Arabella and Lord Petre deepens, fortunes change and reputations— even lives—are imperiled. Pope transforms their affair and its demise into a risqué poem, "The Rape of the Lock," that catapults him to fame and fortune.
A witty, provocative tale of intrigue, seduction, and betrayal, The Scandal of the Season captures a time when marriage was a market, sex was a temptation fraught with danger, and a costume could conceal a dandy or a murderer.
"A seduction reminiscent of Dangerous Liaisons…captures the breezy poetic romance of Shakespeare in Love, recast to star Alexander Pope."—Ian Caldwell, coauthor of The Rule of Four
"Combining her eye for details with her flair for narrative suspense, Gee re-creates the glamour, intrigue, and treachery of Alexander Pope's london: a captivating world that I was sad to leave." – CAROLINE WEBBER,author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution.
There's enough intrigue unfolding behind carriage doors and under bed curtains to satisfy both those modern students who pored over Pope's masterpiece and those who muddled through it. - USA Today
London, 1711. As the rich, young offspring of the city's most fashionable families fill their days with masquerade balls and clandestine courtships, Arabella Fermor and Robert, Lord Petre, lead the pursuit of pleasure. 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. He longs for the success that will cement his place there; 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 into fame and fortune.
The Scandal of the Season captures the hedonism, romance, and risk of a time when marriage was a market, the wrong beliefs equaled treason and dishonor, and sex was a temptation fraught with danger.
About the Author
SOPHIE GEE writes about Restoration and eighteenth-century British literature from Milton to Jane Austen. A native of Australia, she received her PhD in English from Harvard and is now an assistant professor in the Department of English at Princeton. She was named the John E. Annan Bicentennial Preceptor, the highest distinction that can be given to a member of the junior faculty.CAMERON STEWART works extensively in both theatre and television and will be familiar to viewers of LWT's London's Burning as Station Officer Suffolk of White Watch.