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Long Live the King (Habits of the House) Hardcover – May 7, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

His balance sheet firmly back in the black thanks to the machinations of his solicitor, Eric Baum, Lord Dilberne, can now turn his attentions to more pressing affairs of state, especially the upcoming coronation of King Edward VII. There are grouse to be shot and golf to be played, and his wife, Isobel, must advise both family and the court on the proper amount of ermine to trim the royal robes. And then there’s the matter of the coveted extra tickets to the event itself: Should they go to the socially unacceptable Baums or to Lord Dilberne’s estranged brother Edwin and his family? Isobel makes a potentially awkward decision, unaware that Edwin has died. His now-orphaned teenage daughter, Adela, then falls prey to a pair of con artists out to capitalize on the gentry’s fascination with spiritualism. Teeming with tasty tidbits about royals great and small, Weldon’s second installment in her Dilberne Court trilogy, following Habits of the House (2013), gives devoted Anglophiles a whirlwind tour upstairs, downstairs, and all around the castle. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Promotional efforts will be redoubled as acclaimed author Weldon’s delicious series continues. --Carol Haggas

Review

Weldon remains at the top of her game with [Long Live the King]....Fans of Downton Abbey will relish this rich and witty comedy of manners. (Star Tribune)

Teeming with tasty tidbits about royals great and small, Weldon's second installment in her Dilberne Court trilogy gives devoted Anglophiles a whirlwind tour upstairs, downstairs, and all around the castle. (Booklist on Long Live the King)

Before there was DOWNTON ABBEY, there was UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS and, having written the first episode of that iconic television series, it is only fitting that Weldon now returns to the scene of the crime to further explore the disparate worlds of "them that has and those what serve 'em."... Always a ripe target for mockery and disdain, the British aristocracy comes in for a thorough drubbing in Weldon's snarky send-up. (Booklist)

My favorite part of the original series is the first episode because it was written by a great English novelist, Fay Weldon. Everybody was introduced so cleverly . . . so beautifully established. (Jean Marsh, co-creator of Upstairs, Downstairs)

There is simply no touching Weldon as a writer. (The Observer (UK))

Fay Weldon has always examined the scary parts of what lies beneath the silk cushions and behind the closed gates. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

I was a girl from Downstairs. When I was 16, my bedroom was in the basement of a posh house in London, where my mother was the housekeeper. . . . Odd, this class business. Here's Upstairs Downstairs back again, Downton Abbey so popular. (Fay Weldon)

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Product Details

  • Series: Habits of the House (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250028000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250028006
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,096,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fay Weldon's newest novel, "Long Live the King" is the middle volume in her trilogy about Edwardian society. Weldon, known for her trenchant and witty novels of social life in England, has jumped on the "Downton Abbey" bandwagon with her trilogy. She is the author of the first, the original episode of "Upstairs, Downstairs", and knows her subject pretty well.

Weldon's first book in the trilogy, "Habits of the House", was published earlier this year and introduced the reader to the Dilberne family. Parents and two adult children, as well as a houseful of "staff", the family had fallen onto hard times financially due to some very risky investments in South Africa. A "timely" marriage to the daughter of a wealthy Chicago pork-mogul saved the family from ruin and they were able to continue in London society. This second book - set a few years later - continues the family's story, but has a sort of "rushed" feel to it. The new characters introduced are not particularly fleshed out - I'm not sure even author Weldon finds them interesting - as events just sort of "happen" to them. The characters from the first book had been written with a surer hand than those of the second. I think Weldon would have been better off continuing the story with just the characters from "Habits". The Dilbernes, the Baums, and the staff were all well-drawn.

Now, it's easy for a reviewer to comment on one book, but what of two books in a series? In this case, book one was a very good read, while book two was not particularly worth the plod. What about book three? Do we have hopes for Weldon to tie her characters and plot together in the tidy fashion she's generally known for? I sure hope so. I've already preordered book three, which will be out in mid-December. I recommend this book only to readers who enjoyed book one in the series and who hold out hope that book three will rebound to Weldon's high standards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By olderandwiser on June 20, 2015
Format: Paperback
This picaresque novel is very different from "Downton Abbey." It devotes most of its pages to confidence men and women and their wiles. There are very few honest characters, and they are usually prudes and hypocrites. Fay Weldon dwells on low-life characters such as domestic servant Ivy and George, her boyfriend and later husband, who uses her money to finance their career in spiritualism while he sodomizes and indulges in rough sex with her. Weldon makes a point of including references to sodomy. Lady Isobel allows her husband to do "what men only do with whores" and although "by the morning she was exhausted, and a little sore," she looks forward to further episodes (p. 102). Meanwhile--we seem to have wandered into the pages of a bodice-ripper novel--her husband exits her bedroom with his "dongle--as he called it: she had no word for it--still so lively he could almost have hung his top hat on it" (p. 103).

Weldon has problems with other body parts that her editors/proofreaders should have caught.The same husband's "shoulder blade met his breastbone" (p. 42), which is not anatomically correct. The collarbone (clavicle) connects with the breastbone (sternum), the shoulder blade (scapula) does not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl on August 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is book 2 in the trilogy following Habits of the House and continues the story of the Dilbernes.
Minnie and Arthur have married and are expecting, but bigger things are afoot. Mainly the preparations for the coronation of King Edward VII, a friend of the family.
Things threaten to fall apart as invitations to the coronation go missing, while Robert's older brother dies unexpectedly and his poor orphaned teenage daughter Adela is left abandoned. You see, Uncle Robert and Aunt Isobel have never met her and don't seem anxious to make her acquaintance. Even thought their money issues have been allayed they still have other more personal issues to attend to which leave little time to mother a poor hitherto unknown orphan.
Meanwhile sister-in-law Rosina with her revolutionary zeal is still doing and saying what she wants with no thought to other people's sensibilities. And the rest of the upper-class with their many foibles keep on keeping on! The dialogue is still somewhat witty but the humor is not as evident as in book 1, a sometimes funny read nonetheless!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CharlotteThomas on June 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very basic story line. Not, in my opinion, that well written. Character developement lacking, story developement weak. Ending quite abrupt.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Truver on August 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For the lover of the period drama this novel is an excellent selection. Fay Weldon's writing reminds one of famous Victorian authors like Anthony Trollope. The novel is not gripping but the story is excellent. If you enjoy a historical fiction, this will not disappoint.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tempe Mrs on December 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a real fan of the BBC original production of Upstairs Downstairs, I knew I would really like this series; however, this, the second book, was not nearly as interesting to me as the first (Habits of the House). To me, its plot was scattered across too many characters who were introduced in the second book. I was hoping for more of a continuation of the stories of the characters of the Habits of the House. The new storylines were sketchy and inconsistent. I didn't even catch when a main character changed her name from Carlotta to Ida. The ending was the most disappointing; the story was ended with a instant and convenient wrap up that didn't make sense to me.
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