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An Accomplished Woman Hardcover – April 14, 2009

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Lydia Templeton is a rare woman who eschews convention and declares herself content, even joyful in her unmarried state. After all, she is an accomplished Regency woman approaching 30 who values knowledge and accomplishment. There is no man she wishes to attach herself to after declining her neighbor, the extremely eligible Mr. Durrant, who remains a good friend to her father. Her complacent life is thrown into an uproar when her beloved godmother asks her to accompany her ward, Phoebe Rae, to Bath in pursuit of a marriage match. While in Bath, Lydia forms strong opinions regarding Phoebe’s suitors. Mr. Durrant, who has come to Bath in pursuit of his own marriage, disagrees, and to Lydia’s surprise, nothing goes according to plan. Morgan captures the tone, style, and content of a Jane Austen novel while introducing her own delightful characters, which are sure to please Austenophiles. --Patty Engelmann

Review

Many struggle and fail to don the mantle of Georgette Heyer. If anyone comes close, it is Jude Morgan' -- Elizabeth Buchan, Sunday Times --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312539665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312539665
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #992,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Elaine McCarthy on September 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up without much hope, having loathed every other Jane-imitator I've tried, but wow. Jude Morgan has not merely written a passable JA imitation, she has written a book that charms in its own right; it rings with wit, while also providing a story line that Regency fans will enjoy. Some of the characters are strongly reminiscent of JA; I recognized Mrs. Eldon and Lady Catherine DeBourgh, as amusing as ever. The heroine has some of the characteristics of both Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse, but she is very much distinct from them, no mere faded copy. I highly recommend this to anybody who wants a good Austen-like (as opposed to Austen-rip-off) read.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By OLT TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't quite understand why Jude Morgan/Tim Wilson/T.R.Wilson/Hannah March is not more popular. His writing is excellent. The stories themselves are good, but it is the writing that makes his books outstanding. This particular book, written in the style of a Jane Austen novel, is as perfectly executed as any she wrote. Not to mention that Jude Morgan's books have even more laugh-out-loud and tongue-in-cheek moments than Jane's did. (Perhaps he needs a better agent.) If you like this book, also try his INDISCRETION and A LITTLE FOLLY, two other comedies of manners written in the style of Austen.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By JerseyGirl VINE VOICE on December 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found myself laughing so many times during this story at the turns of phrase that Jude Morgan uses in "An Accomplished Woman". Really the dry wit in this story is just too too funny.

Not only is there humor in an "An Accomplished Woman", but there is a wonderful story and a number of twists and surprises in the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and now I am out looking for other titles by this author.

Lydia Templeton is called upon to be a companion to her godmother's ward, something that Lydia really has no inclination to do. What transpires as Lydia tries to remain impartial to Phoebe Rae's various love interests kept me up reading late into the night.

The conclusion is fun and totally suprising. All readers will enjoy this humorous story which is so Austen like as to almost make you think she has returned to write for us now.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A thoughtful purchaser on May 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First, the injury: copying Jane Austen's characters and scenarios is not an homage. It's a rip-off. And lazy writing. Mrs. Vawser was no trouble at all for Mr. Morgan since she is simply Mrs. Elton with a new name. Mrs. Vawser's constant references to what her friends say about her, her vanity generally, the way in which she forces herself on the heroine's friend (= Jane Fairfax) -- it's all a rip-off. The relationship between the heroine and her young charge is Emma Woodhouse and Miss Smith with a few tweaks. If you strip away all the Austen elements, there is nothing but dust. The heroine undergoes no development as a character -- her change of heart at the end of the book makes no sense. The conversations are plodding as is the narration.

Now for the insult -- the sprinkling of crudeness throughout the book would have been abhorrent to Jane Austen. (Telling someone to "fop off," thinking of the possible pregnancy of a maid with complacency, and repeated references to "potent thighs," among other examples.) Most modern readers won't even notice it. But if you're going to structure a book around the work of Jane Austen, you owe it to her to be true to the spirit of her work. The gratuitously reference to a pubic hair (found in some bedding that was supposed to have been clean) by Lady Eastmond at the beginning of the book was almost as distateful as finding such a thing physically between the pages of the book.

Trivially, this book, like many modern-age Regency novels, uses stupid expressions like "on-dit" and "the ton" which you never find in Jane Austen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Regency Romance Lover on August 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cannot believe that Jude Morgan is not more widely acclaimed as a brilliant regency era novelist. When I read this book, I expected another one of those thoroughly dissatisfying rip-offs, and was totally unprepared for genius. Morgan creates the Austeneque world with charm, elegance and uncanny precision. At the risk of being disloyal to my favorite authoress, I will go so far as to say that Morgan's writing is possibly even wittier than Jane's.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Years ago Lydia Templeton caused a scandal when she rejected her neighbor Lewis Durrant's offer of marriage as filled with pride she preferred her studies though she knew prejudicial society scorned a single female choosing learning. She since serves as her widowed father's host and eludes her married brother's efforts to find her a spouse. Now thirty, Lydia's godmother Lady Eastmond asks her to do a favor as her Henry is ailing. She wants Lydia to chaperone her ward Phoebe Rae through the treacherous waters of high society in Bath. Unable to say no to the kind elderly woman, Lydia reluctantly agrees.

Mr. Allardyce and Mr. Beck try to court Phoebe Rae, making Lydia's chaperone lifestyle even more unbearably boring as the twit won't choose between the suitors insisting she loves both of them. Worse Durrant is in town seeking a wife while his wastrel nephew Hugh Hanley the heir is also in Bath insuring his patron wealthy uncle does not do something foolish by marrying and begetting an heir. When Lewis and Lydia meet, they make a bet over her chaperone duty and his bridal chase.

With obvious homage to Jane Austen, AN ACCOMPLISHED WOMAN is a delightful romantic comedy of errors filled with humor and twists as nothing quite works as expected for seemingly everyone. The cast is solid even tertiary players like the stereotype moms of the suitors. With a wonderful fast-paced story line filled with spins, Jude Morgan provides an amusing nod to Pride and Prejudice as the heroine's time in Bath makes her wonder whether she truly is an unaccomplished woman as nothing goes according to plan.

Harriet Klausner
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