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All This, and Heaven Too (Rediscovered Classics) Paperback – May 1, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
The author recounts a drama and scandal that beset France in the midst of the nineteenth century. It revolved around the household of the Duc and Duchesse de Praslin, the family who had engaged the services of Ms. Deluzy-Desportes as governess to their young children. Once esconced in the household, she quickly realized that there was a problem between the Duc and Duchesse de Praslin. The Duchess, an impetuous and passionate woman of Corsican descent, was slightly unhinged, perhaps by madness and her passion for the Duc, who clearly was no longer interested in her in the way in which she wished.
Ms. Deluzy-Desportes and the Duc developed a close, though platonic, relationship, because of their mutual interest in the Praslin children, an interest which the Duchesse did not seem to share. She perceived their closeness as a threat and her jealousy knew no bounds. The Duc and Ms. Deluzy-Desportes did not, however, always act circumspectly, and the gossips of France had a field day, attributing to them an affair that had no basis, in fact. This gossip added to the already existing tension in the Praslin household, which was a seething cauldron of emotions, until the day would come when Ms. Deluzy-Desportes would be dismissed with a promise of a letter of recommendation from the Duchesse. When the promised letter never came, the Duc was outraged by the perfidy of the Duchesse.Read more ›
Based on the life of Field's great-aunt, Henriette Field, the story will carry the reader along effortlessly. Field's superb description of the inner life and thoughts of Henriette feels authentic; we come to know her very well. We also become well acquainted with the people surrounding her in the household of the French duke where she serves as governess.
Henriette's fate was inextricably linked with a tragic crime which became as well known in her day as the Simpson case in ours. Her later life, in the United States, brought her an extremely happy marriage and a fulfilling intellectual life. She mingled with many of the influential thinkers and political activists of her day.
Field's depiction of the American days does not come alive quite as much as the first part of the book, Henriette's life as a governess. Despite this unevenness, the novel is a work by a master author who is a match for Daphne Du Maurier any day. Highly recommended, richly satisfying!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An old favorite. I was glad to read it again, but disappointed in this Kindle version. There were so many mistakes in the text. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This isn't a book I would normally buy but my book club was reading it. Sometimes I wish books came with a pronunciation guide so you don't stumble over the names. Read morePublished 23 months ago by L. Bosslet
I stumbled across this book, strangely enough, laying on top of a heap of construction trash in a big metal container in Williamsburg, Brooklyn while I was walking down the street... Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by James Kerr
Arrived in very good condition. Had read it previously to ordering this copy. Just wanted a copy in my library. Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by Susan Runck