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Wild Romance: A Victorian Story of a Marriage, a Trial, and a Self-Made Woman Hardcover – March 16, 2010
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“Schama spins a fine story herself.” ―New York Times Book Review
“Chloë Schama gives Longworth Yelverton her due in insightful and entertaining style. She is a star on the rise.” ―Town and Country
“A nonfiction debut most writers only dream about … Chloë Schama's retelling of the history of one of Victorian England's most notorious scandals reads like a novel itself … history buffs and those who enjoy a good, old-fashioned scandal will find charm here.” ―Library Journal
“Schama breathes new life into the story of one woman's dogged determination to salvage her tattered reputation and forge an independent life for herself in the aftermath of a publicly debated scandal and a failed marriage.” ―Booklist
“Schama tells Longworth's story well, keeping a steady eye on the sources and placing her firmly within whatever extraordinary context she [Longworth] found herself.” ―Bookforum
“Chloë Schama will delight her readers. She writes with confidence and passion, yet with a sensitivity for her subject which is wonderfully appealing. I finished the book with regret, wanting more and impatient for a sequel.” ―Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
“Wild Romance is a book that will take you for a whooping ride from the highlands of Scotland to the majestic beauty of Yosemite to the mystical power of Hong Kong Harbor. Our heroine, Teresina, is a woman who fights for a life of conventional marriage, yet in her struggle, discovers she is destined for much more. This is history that reads like quality, page-turning fiction. It is at once riveting and enlightening.” ―Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author of Barefoot and The Castaways
“Bringing together a Victorian novelist's reach and richness with the discerning intelligence of a twenty-first-century literary biographer, Chloë Schama creates a thrilling narrative that locates the themes of Victorian scandal and adventure within contemporary feminist values of courage and autonomy. Schama's fine acrobatic grace enables her to tread the tightrope between the constraints of history and the wild romance of an unfulfilled life.” ―Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities and director of the Humanities Center at Harvard University
Top Customer Reviews
However, after the dust settles, the author follows Theresa's life from that point on up until her death, and that is a whole story unto itself. She travelled all over the world, and did and experienced a lot of things that would be considered out of the ordinary today, much less for a woman in that day and age. She is an enigma in many ways, and the life she led was certainly not one that anyone would have thought possible in a time when women were essentially considered to be nothing more than a man's wife and mother of his children.Read more ›
On the whole, this story of this book is stretched a bit thin. Only half of this 250-page book is devoted to the "romance" and trial; the rest to Theresa's travels throughout America and Asia. I was expecting something meatier, something that would explain why Yelverton led Theresa on to the extent that he did. It's quite possible that all he was after was sex; but in that case, why would he go so far as to have two weddings to her? The rhetoric of the court suggested that Yelverton was seduced by Theresa, and was led astray by his desires, but I tend to think that things were much more complicated than that. I guess the largest problem I had was that Yelverton as a person never really came across. In fact, he's hardly mentioned in the second half of the book as Theresa went abroad. I'd love to have known, too, what his wife, Emily Forbes, thought of the whole affair. After all, if Yelverton had been forced to take responsibility for his actions, he would basically have been committing bigamy, and his children with his second wife illegitimate.
Although the reader was privy to Theresa's thoughts and actions, I never really empathized with her. I'm not sure that I agree with the author's assessment of her; in fact, I'm not sure that she wasn't simply out for her fifteen minutes of fame, frequently making an exhibition of herself, making her look flighty at best and stupid at worst.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Theresa Yelverton was unique in her time; a well-traveled, educated and ultimately unmarried woman. When her husband marries another woman, Theresa challenges his actions in court. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Meghan
A wildly boring book. It is not the story of a marriage! There are almost no details; simply theories. Véry dull- not as advertised.Published 19 months ago by Meg McCravy