Wideacre by Philippa Gregory

Wideacre by Philippa GregoryYou are probably more familiar with Philippa Gregory’s later historical novels from the Tudor period: The Other Boleyn Girl etc… I say later because they were written this century although the period they write about is in fact earlier in time than this series which was written earlier, in 1987. Confusing maybe?

Wideacre is set in the late 1700s. A younger daughter born to the Quality in Sussex aches to own the land she farms. Her father – the squire – is her idol and she can’t bear the thought that one day she must marry and leave the farming lands she knows and loves.

This is a bodice ripper to the highest order.

As the review on the cover says: “Beatrice Lacey leaves Scarlett O’Hara in the dust” or words to that effect…

There are no lengths to which she will not go to stay on Wideacre. And some of the lengths she goes to are long indeed. At some points I audibly groaned and had to put the book down.

She’s surrounded by a pretty wet bunch most of the book who let her get away with it it must be said.

It all gets a bit too much in the end and the ominous spectre of her past seems a little contrived – hey it’s a fictional bodice ripper – what should I expect – nonetheless I enjoyed the escapism and will probably pick up the next two in the trilogy for a gander.