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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

REVIEW OF BELLFIELD HALL BY ANNA DEAN

This was the first book I picked up from the library on the day I landed as I wanted to quickly get to the books! This was also my first introduction to this author and to a series. Dido Kent is that well loved figure in families - the maiden aunt - now however sadly missing in most families and certainly not at everyone's beck and call the way Dido was. Every engagement, confinement, wedding, funeral Dido could be counted on by her brothers and sisters to come to their assistance with her mature calm responsible manner. She sounds boring but she certainly wasn't. Far from it.

Brought this time to sort out her nieces engagement or rather her niece breaking off a very profitable engagement Dido seeks out the truth behind the facade of the Montague family. A young woman murdered in the grounds and no one seeing her coming in and everyone accounted for makes the solving of the mystery even harder for Dido. Despite her being the most capable sleuth 1805 was not a time which allowed women to do whatever they wanted to do and Dido had to act with restraint.

Deducing facts from things which may have escaped a man's eye - the tucks on a gown being indicative of a girl being pregnant and a china doll which was expensive being in the possession of a gate keeper's daughter indicated much more than meets the eye. Solving the murder was one part of this very interesting story. The other was the plight of women at this time. It was not an easy time for gentlewomen of little means. Your choices were so limited as you also chose to live respectably. A time of poverty and subservience. If one did not become a governess one was dominated by your family who treated you most of the time as an unpaid servant who should be grateful that there was a roof over your head and food to eat. Women of means had it no better - a good marriage was the only way forward and not being married was an absolute disgrace.

Reiterates my belief that this present time is a wonderful time for a woman! I liked this book and will be looking out for more by this author.

1 comment:

Blodeuedd said...

True, it is a good time to be a woman, nothing was good then. Being under your father's roof, being married to someone you did not love, being a governess and at the mercy of that family