Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Humble Companion by Laurie Graham

This is a fascinating novel ideal for fans of Austen which brings alive the History of the Royal family from George III to Victoria, their quirks and foibles, follies and vices. The tale is told through the voice of Nellie Welche; companion to Princess Sofy daughter of mad king George. Nellie is a wonderful creation; smart and outspoken she is a shrewd observer and a candid narrator. She lives a strange existence neither a servant nor a noble, yet she is privy to secrets both dangerous and heartbreaking and yet at times she is rudely treated and belittled. The story begins when Nellie and Sofy are still young girls and Nellie is overawed at the opportunity she has been given to experience life in the royal household. As she grows older and experiences love and heartbreak, marriage and hard work she begins to question the small confined life of the royal princesses and relish her own relative freedom. Nellie and Sofy remain lifelong friends corresponding frequently even in the years when visits were few. Laurie Graham has written a witty and poignant story of a time of great privilege and poverty and enormous change.

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