The Ugly Duckling meets the Gothic novel: a plain governess, a romantic Miss, a stern but handsome guardian, involved in a midnight chase, a woman dressed in britches and a gloomy castle. Throw in a bit of Vivaldi and some French philosophy, and you have it all!
If Rosemary can’t control her wayward pupil and prove her worth to her guardian the Earl, her future is bleak.
When Marianne’s father dies, she and her governess Rosemary are forced to go and live with her guardian the Earl of Tyndell. The Earl has strict ideas about how young ladies should behave. He isn’t impressed by the romantic notions Marianne has absorbed straight from the pages of a Gothic novel. And her governess is not only dowdy but perfectly ready to put him in his place, especially regarding his ideas about the education of women. But when the Earl’s interest in Rosemary blossoms just as Marianne falls in love with the last person he would ever agree to her marrying, where will it all end?
Read Rosemary or Too Clever to Love to see how this tangle is sorted out.
In spite of its light-hearted and often humorous tone, this charming novel raises questions about women’s education and philosophy. Book Group discussion topic have been included at the end.
1. Do you always take a book/e-reader wherever you go?
Yes, I take my tablet which has an ereaser and a Kindle on it. I’d be lot without it! Sometimes, in the doctor’s office or at the airport for example, I’m almost annoyed when I get called and I’m in the middle of a good bit in my book! Honestly, you never need be bored again!
2. Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
Hmm -that would depend on the nature of the “bad one”. If she was clever and interesting I think I might prefer that! Goodness is a bit dull, isn’t it? I remember reading Paradise Lost (Milton) in school (remember I went to school a very long time ago!) and Satan was much more interesting than God! My “good” female characters are always feisty and a bit hard to handle, probably because I can’t have them too “good”!
3. Where can I find you when you are reading?
Mostly in bed. I’m too busy writing and doing during the day,but I go to bed early (9:30) and read for two hours. Lovely!
4. Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
I have a small “antiques” (ie pretty junk) business that I supply by going to garage sales, thrift shops and charity stores. I love finding something that with a bit of work turns into a treasure. In particular I’m very drawn to antique cotton pillowcases, with tatting, lace or embroidery. I remove the stains, starch and iron them and they are BEAUTIFUL. I sell them, but also keep a lot. I love to sleep (and read!) on a pretty pillow!
5. Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?
Er….no! Who can? It’s not just the books, which of course, I love, but all the other stuff. I got the best bottle opener ever in a book store!
6. What are you most proud of?
My children. I have three, two boys and a girl. They’re all in their forties now and have children of their own and they are fantastic parents. The boys are both the chief cooks in the house and one of them is the chief child minder, too. My daughter is the best person I know.
7. What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
The thing about producing a book if you’re an indie like me, is that it’s REALLY HARD WORK. The writing part is easy, at least, I find it so. But before you ever lay your hands upon the finished article, you’ve had it proof read, Beta read, critiqued, re-read AND gotten pre-orders, reviews, contacted your mailing list, organized an opening, try to get bloggers (!!) to
feature you …..so when you actually see it, it’s like thank God for that, now give me a stiff drink. It’s like a very hard childbirth and you have a sort of post-partum depression. At least, I do. Afterwards, I’m proud of it, but not immediately, I have to admit.
8. What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Get all the feeback you can. Take all the help you can. Ask as many questions as you can. The idea of the writer in the ivory tower is definitely a thing of the past.
9. Who would you like/have liked to interview?
I really like a very underestimated British midcentury author Barbara Pym. Her books are absolute jewels. I would have loved to talk to her.
10. When and where do you prefer to write?
I can write anywhere. If we go on long car journeys I write in the car. I write in bed, on planes, anywhere! So long as I can balance my laptop on my knee, I can write. I’m retired so I can write any time of the day, too.
Thank you for your interesting questions!
Thank you, GL Robinson and Love Books Group
About the author
I’m a product of a convent boarding school in the south of England in the 1950’s and early 60’s. You can probably guess I received an old-fashioned education. I learned a great deal about the humanities and practically nothing in the sciences. I understand Latin, speak French fluently and my German isn’t bad. I read the Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English when I was 16 and Shakespeare is an open book. But the only science I remember is the ditty: Miss Cummings (our teacher) was a scientist, alas she is no more, for what she took for H2O (water) was H2SO4 (sulfuric acid). Not bad, eh? Words to live by.
I met my American husband while working in Brussels (Belgium). Then we moved to Bonn (Germany). I had three children in a foreign tongue. If you want to know how to say “push” in French and German, ask me!
I’ve lived in the USA for over 40 years, have seven grandchildren and the same husband I started with. We live in a small town in upstate New York but nowadays spend the winter in Florida. I need to sell lots of books so we can buy a waterfront condo! (laughs ironically).
I love my garden, telling my grandchildren stories and eating desserts. I’d give up a steak for a Key Lime Pie any day!
I began writing Regency Romances just under two years ago after the death of my beloved sister who was in the convent with me all those years ago. We used to read them under the covers with a torch after lights out. My books are dedicated to her.
I’ve so far indie published three. The third, Rosemary or Too Clever to Love, just came out at the beginning of May. I’m writing a fourth and editing a trilogy I wrote 18 months ago. I plan on publishing them over the summer.
I love Regency Romances and they’ve always been a guilty pleasure. I was a French professor, and I tell you, after a day of teaching Existentialism, you need a bit of sprigged muslin and some polished topboots to clear your head.
But more than that, I think they fulfil a need for order and calm that is so lacking in our lives today. You know that Almack’s is only going to allow entry to men in white britches; you know young ladies may only dance twice with the same man at the ball; you know the couple is going to get together, no matter how mismatched they appear, or how many obstacles are in their path.
There is something soothing about it all. Of course, it’s escapism and it’s often silly, but it’s always satisfying.
Having been a teacher for 30 years, I find I can’t get away from the urge to provoke discussion. Plus, I belong to three Book Groups. I’ve therefore included Discussion Topics at the end of my last two novels. I hope my readers will have fun with them.