RAMILLIES by Whitehead Barbara

RAMILLIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Touched with a bit of mystic nonsense: a frolicsome, gentle little post-Regency. Amiable hero Harry Akeham, from a noble but impoverished family branch, lives peacefully with widowed mother Mollie in a genteel village during George IV's reign. But then, due to the untimely death of the Ninth Earl of Ainsty, it seems that Harry is suddenly the Tenth! How will homespun Harry, tutor to a tradesman's son, take to the marble halls and handsome living of the estate of Ramillies? Rather well. In no time, in fact, he loves it, ""soothed and cheered"" by the beauties and ""elegancies"" in which he lives. And his nice neighbors are Lord and Lady Langbar--the latter being most eager to arrange a suitable match for her shy, sensitive, quietly rebellious niece Laetitia, Countess of Elmet. But before Harry meets these ladies, he's smitten by fine-eyed, cool schoolmistress Hannah Clare--even if he gallantly (incognito) aids Laetitia when she stumbles into las arms, fleeing from her aunt's matchmaking. Misunderstandings and complications ensue, of course. Hannah rejects Harry; after a night of gloom, Harry proposes to Laetitia--who learns she's been lied to. And the chill at Ramillies is not broken until after a supernatural evening involving a ceremonial virgin, the god Apollo, and a Delphic altar. Cosy, imaginative, and the best of the recent Regency assortment.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1983
Publisher: St. Martin's