Reviewed by Madeline Barbush
A love affair story with Jane Austen
Eleanor Wilton’s second novel from The Derbyshire Chronicles, titled Agnes Merriweather, is a charming historical novel from the Regency period that fans of Jane Austen will love.
Austen used her writing in response to the world in which she lived. She pulled her heroines out of the exaggerated scenario of popular fiction caused by the virgin disaster and told them about her real-life worries: marriage, manners, society, and more.
Wilton does the same. Her heroine Agnes Merriweather may take a walk after the Regent period fiction scenes, but, like Austen, Wilton focuses on the aspirations and struggles of women in her society: facing love, independence, and the search for a vocation in life. Agnė’s modern ideals blend seamlessly into Wilton’s history and make this classic fiction look fresh.
After a wealthy aunt, Agnes Merriweather’s lifestyle suddenly becomes meager and quiet. She went to live with her brother in Kympton, where very little seems to involve her. Her brother Edgar is completely satisfied living as much as he can to meet the most basic needs, but Agnes has a hard time adjusting. Although their late father left Edgar long enough to survive and live on his own, Agnė is tormented by anxiety that she does not have such luxury. Sure, she would like to find a man who could marry because he could take care of her, but she understands that she needs to be controlled and find a real purpose to really come true in this life.
As a young woman who had recently discovered her vocation, the character of Agnes Merriweather instantly appealed to my own desires and desires in life. I saw myself in it because I’m sure many future readers of this novel will see it too.
Agnes is beautifully flawed. She speaks her opinion with the utmost sincerity and sincerity to those she admires, but when she is passionate, she does not realize what effect this may have on others, much wiser and more patient than her. She is stubborn and anxious, but full of heart and determined – in the end – to learn when she has misjudged or made a mistake. It’s a regent fiction of Regency, where the character may feel overly stubborn at the beginning of the novel, and then suddenly and incredibly bow to the will of another.
Here, Wilton creates a modern love story with similar realism and innovation to Jane Austen. She fosters a fun dialogue, as Austen did, subtly revealing the character’s mood and face. We come to the thoughts of every Wilton character without any speculation as to what they are in history, especially with regard to Agnė.
Her brother Edgar stands out in this regard. Wilton’s choice of words seems to me wise without any pretensions, even Buddhist, to some extent ridiculous: “It simply came to our notice then. I soon saw that I had to let go of the bitterness, or I had to become the master of my own misfortunes as well. If you don’t move, let go. “
The real cause of Agne’s troubles, in my opinion, is her lack of purpose, and it’s interesting that Wilton decides to follow the happy ending of Austen’s signature in more than one aspect of Agnes ’life. Similarly, the author never gets into an overflowing love story or inappropriate sex scenes that many modern Regency seems to be drawn to. Agnes Merriweather pays homage to the didactic love story as sweetly and sincerely as Austen herself.
Genre: Literature / History / Romance
Print length: 306 pages
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