MAYFAIR by Nancy Fitzgerald


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Young Ladies Sibella and Sophia, last two of seven daughters of the Earl of Corragh, hit London in time for the Great Exhibition (1851) to peddle their wares on the marriage mart. Officiating is self-serving lush Aunt Lucy Pleet, who hopes to dispose of her own daughter Lucinda at the same time. Sprightly Sibella's older sisters present such horrid examples of matrimony that she almost determines to avoid it. There is Nell, who married rich old Lord Cloudsleigh for his lolly and is now expiring for love of a penniless poet; Amy, who married a poor parson and is busy breeding and doing good works; and Charlotte, who married a professional cardsharp. Favorite sister Kitty, the family beauty, scandalously disappeared after her debut and is eventually discovered living in sin with another Cloudsleigh, by whom she has borne two children. With such a cast, not to mention Peggy the cheeky servant girl, various men-about-town, racetrack touts and country boobies, and fashions galore, there is considerable confusion before everyone is rearranged and married off to best advantage. The pace is too pell-mell to allow for much soul-searching or heart-rending, but there's lots of bounce (as in Fitzgerald's St. John's Wood debut last year) to every flounce.

Pub Date: March 24th, 1978
ISBN: 0708921345
Publisher: Doubleday