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Publisher's Summary

The young aspiring poet Alexander Pope crosses paths with the coquettish Arabella and man-about-town Lord Petre at a masquerade ball. It's 1711, and the fashionable citizens of London, weary of recent political and social upheaval, are intent on simply pursuing enjoyment. But society in general is not accepting of any attraction that can't restrain itself behind at least a veneer of respectability, and Arabella and Lord Petre's intense attraction is both unacceptable and dangerous. It certainly draws Pope's attention, and becomes the inspiration for The Rape of the Lock, the work that catapults him to fame and fortune.

Set in a fickle world where a choice word can undo a reputation and the turn of a card can make or break a fortune, this richly imagined novel by a talented new writer is a riveting portrait of an era and an exuberant, erotic tale of intrigue, betrayal, and envy.

©2007 Sophie Gee. Published by arrrangement with Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc; (P)2007 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"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....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)

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Catherine
  • HEMPSTEAD, NEW YORK, United States
  • 03-05-08

Misery

I usually love historical romances. This one actually put me to sleep. I didn't bother to finish it. Don't waste you time or your credits. It was slow moving and uninspiring. If I could I wouldn't give it a star.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah
  • Chambersburg, PA, United States
  • 01-02-12

Societal Portrait

A charming novel imagining the events that led to Pope's writing of "The Rape of the Lock." While the characters weren't very developed, I believe that the author may have been trying to recreate the superficiality that was so much a part of London society in the early eighteenth century. She gets the tone of conversation just right, with everyone genteely battling to be wittier than the next person and to be the center of polite attention. The continual jockeying for position among the belles, beaux, and literati seems appropriate, and the characters would have been more concerned with appearances and reputations than depth of character. Not a great novel, but an intriguing one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful