Publisher: Petticoat Press
Publication Date: November 11, 2013
Genre: Regency Romance
Acquired From: Author
"I must now mention a circumstance which I woud wish to forget myself, and which no obligation less than the present should induce me to unfold to any human being..."
So begins Mr. Darcy to lay before Elizabeth his faithful narrative of Mr. Wickham's villainy toward his sister, Georgiana. The facts he sets out are brief but potent. They contain a story unto themselves, and that story is the subject of this book.
Taking its facts from Austen's own words, Follies Past opens almost a year before the opening of Pride and Prejudice itself, at Pemberley, at Christmas. Fourteen-year-old Georgiana has just been taken from school and is preparing to transfer to London in the spring. It follows Georgiana to London, to Ramsgate and into the arms of the charming and infamous Mr. Wickham.
To read this book is to stp back into the charming world of Jane Austen's England, to pass a few more hours with some of her beloved characters, sympathetically portrayed as they might have been before ever they came to Netherfield, and to discover a host of new characters each with engaging histories of their own. Authentic in its use of language and meticulously researched, it is a truly diverting entertainment.
I was delighted to be able to read Follies Past because I am such a fan of Jane Austen in all her forms. And one of the things I have always wondered about is the events that led to the story that Mr. Darcy exposes to Elizabeth in regards to Mr. Wickham. And Follies Past answered those questions with wonderful prose and a delightful and fulfilling cast of characters.
Melanie Kerr is almost as wonderful as Austen herself in her telling of the villainy of Mr. Wickham as he attempts to get revenge on his former friend by duping his sister into an affair. Twisted throughout the story of Georgiana is the duplicitous actions of Caroline Bingley, a fortune hunter of the highest order, and Clare Langford, a devoted and self-judging friend to Georgiana. Just as Austen would have followed the highs and lows of a young lady of no fortune or consequence, Kerr does the same and brings the story to a satisfying and wonderful conclusion.
It is for this reason I can give Follies Past a wonderful and full 5 out of 5 stars. And I suggest it to anyone who is a fan of Austen herself.