Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Elsingham Portrait Paperback – March 19, 2013
See the Best Books of 2017
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
About the Author
Elizabeth Chater was the author of more than 24 novels and countless short stories. She received a B.A. from the University of British Columbia and an M.A. from San Diego State University, and joined the faculty of the latter in 1963 where she began a lifelong friendship with science fiction author Greg Bear. She was honored with The Distinguished Teacher award in 1969, and was awarded Outstanding Professor of the Year in 1977. After receiving her Professor Emeritus, she embarked on a new career as a novelist with Richard Curtis as her agent. In the 1950s and 60s she published short stories in Fantastic Universe Magazine and The Saint Mystery Magazine, and she won the Publisher's Weekly short story contest in 1975. She went on to publish 22 romance novels over an 8 year period. She also wrote under the pen names Lee Chater, Lee Chaytor, and Lisa Moore. For more information, please visit http://www.elizabethchater.com.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The premise of the book was not only time travel ala Diana Gaboldon or Susanna Kearsley, but travel through space, from New York to London, and a switch in identity. Kathryn, a librarian from 1974, apparently switched identities with Nadine, an English noblewoman from 1774. All this was glossed over as a byproduct of the evil Donner's attempt to control Lady Nadine, her meal ticket. The book I wanted to read answered what became of Nadine. If she went forward to Kathyrn's life in 1974, how did she cope? I feel the author wasted an opportunity to give Nadine a story to parallel Kathyrn's.
Kathryn determined that the only way to convince Lord Elsingham of her identity was to provide him with information on the coming war in the American colonies. Given her education, wouldn't her knowledge of Latin, English literature and history be as convincing? Nadine's background doesn't sound like it provided her with much of an education.
Accepting that Kathryn gave Lord Elsingham and the British government proof that she knew what would happen in the colonies, wouldn't her freedom be in more jeopardy from the government than from a mob of local villagers? The book that the author didn't write could have expanded on this. Would the British government consider her a spy? As Lord Elsingham's wife, where would her loyalties lie, with the Americans or with the British nobility she was now a member of?
There were other plot points which caused me to downgrade the book. I didn't find Kathyrn's character in New York in 1974 to be at all credible. She was intelligent, well educated and attractive, yet had no ties whatsoever, no friends, neighbors, work colleagues or even a pet she cared about. The author wants us to believe that Kathryn's character didn't change, but that becoming beautiful by taking over Nadine's body made other people finally value her. I hope that this isn't the message the author wanted to send.
Another was her time with the Vicar, a delightful character, by the way. In about a week, Kathryn catalogued his extensive library using the Dewey Decimal System. Did she also set up a card catalogue or index and teach him the system? Taking this further, he's a scholar. Didn't she think he might spread the word of this amazing breakthrough in library organization 100 years before it was invented.
Before this book was published, the author and editor should have given it a long, hard look and, using it as an outline, fleshed out the characters and plugged the plot holes. The book Elizabeth Cather didn't write could have been really special.
Bottom line: Great story. Good read...left unsatisfied at the end because the characters fell in love after having almost no interaction.