Saturday, November 7, 2009
Willoughby's Return, Blog Tour, another Review and Gunter's Teashop!
I am having a lovely time on my blog tour. Thanks so much to everyone who has given me such a warm welcome. Follow the links for more guest posts and giveaways from The Bookworm and here is a review from Books Like Breathing
I have been yearning for a Sense and Sensibility sequel. Colonel Brandon is my second favorite Austen hero (sometimes he even beats Darcy). Sometimes I get a bit tired of Darcy (just bought two more P&P sequels) and yearn for some Brandon, Wentworth, Tilney and Knightley (never Edmund Bertram).
Odiwe’s portrayal of all of the characters was perfect. Marianne was exactly as she was in S&S albeit a bit more mature. I also could understand why she was upset with Brandon. He completely neglected her to take care of his “other” family. I would have been upset too. Colonel Brandon was broody yet sweet—just as I imagine him. He did make a few mistakes throughout the book but redeemed himself. Marianne and Colonel Brandon’s marriage was a huge highlight for me. There was so much tension yet so much love.
I was so pleased to find that Margaret was a main character in Willoughby’s Return. She was sorely neglected by Jane Austen in S&S. She deserved a happy ending too. Henry was the perfect match for her and I enjoyed the twists and turns her story took. Willoughby was really not a huge portion of the book. Well, he is there but he is kind of like a storm cloud…you worry about what he will do but he passes through without any major problems.
I am going to sound like a huge nimrod say this but…I had no idea that Colonel Brandon had no first name. I always thought his first name was Christopher. Pollution from the 1995 movie, I guess. I think that it may make me a bad Jane Austen fan but I had no idea.
I think this may be put on my favorite Jane Austen sequels list. I wish there were more Sense and Sensibility sequels (psst…sequel authors, drop Darcy for a minute and write about Colonel Brandon and Marianne). Willoughby’s Return is definitely worth a read if you love Jane Austen sequels but are looking for something new.
When I was researching Willoughby's Return I travelled into London city centre to see if I could find anything of Regency London. One of the places I wanted to track down was Gunter's Teashop in Berkeley Square where Margaret Dashwood is taken by her friend Henry Lawrence on her arrival in the capital. Unfortunately, much of the original square is lost and the cafe now occupying the spot where the sign of the pineapple proclaimed Gunter's position is a modern affair behind plate glass. However, on the opposite side you can still see splendid buildings and catch a glimpse of an Adam ceiling through a window. A couple of liveried gentlemen were standing outside one of the grand houses and I stopped to have a chat with them. They were fascinated by my 1803 map and told me that the house they were guarding had some wonderful Georgian interiors.
Gunter's Teashop was famous for its ice creams and sorbets. In summer the carriages would gather in the square to be served outside - more information and lovely pictures on the Georgian Index
The top print shows a Gillray print of Bond Street. Marianne takes Margaret shopping in and around Bond Street and they also visit Hookham's circulating library. The second print shows Berkeley Square looking very different from today!