THE LOVE CHILD by Philippa Cart


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Illegitimacy and teenage pregnancy run wild in this Restoration romance. When 14-year-old Pris Eversleigh finds handsome Jocelyn Frinton on the run from Titus Oates' anti-Catholic witchhunters, she hides him; in no time, they are in love and she becomes pregnant just before he is captured by the King's men and executed. Fortunately she is aided by naughty neighbor Lady Harriet, who has had a bastard or two herself, mainly Leigh, who has been raised by Pris' parents. Harriet takes pregnant Pris to Venice to cover up, pretending she herself is pregnant so that the new babe on the scene will be accounted for. All would be well were it not for dastardly rakehell Sir Beau Granville, who likes abducting teenage virgins and tries to snatch Pris (no virgin she but Beau doesn't know that). This festival of love children is further complicated by the presence of Pris' governess Christabel, who is actually her father's bastard, and is the jealous type. And by the fact that Pris' dad gets himself in trouble over the Monmouth plot--and will be executed unless Pris consents to give herself for one awful night to Granville. These troubles seem doomed to go on forever, since Pris' illegitimate daughter Carlotta grows up a raving beauty and Granville still is keeping his eye on the family and has lost none of his vigor at deflowering teenagers. . . . A little Restoration wit would have gone a long way towards leavening this heavy load.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam