Wednesday, December 02, 2015
Fun Times With The Corinthian
Sir Richard Wyndham is a Corinthian. In Regency times, a Corinthian is a man of style. Not a dandy, no. A Corinthian is sporty as well as fashionable. And Sir Richard is the best of them. He’s the Lenny Kravitz of the Regency era. If HE wore an afghan as a scarf, all the other fashionable dudes would be raiding their Grandma’s linen closets. Often imitated, never duplicated is Sir Richard.
Sir Richard’s bachelor days are coming to an end. His family has an intervention. Stop all the running around and get married. The family expects him to marry the icy Melissa Brandon, who informs him that she’s as happy about their upcoming nuptials as he is. After a frosty pre-engagement conversation, Richard goes out and has himself a think… fueled by alcohol. On the way home from the club, he spies a young man climbing out a window, the ladder a bit too short for him to reach the ground.
The young man turns out to be a young woman, Penelope “Pen” Creed, who is escaping an unwanted engagement herself. An orphan and an heiress, Pen has been a guest of her aunt for years. Her aunt now insists she marry her son- a boy with “a face like a fish.” Pen hatches a plan to return to her home estate, where there is another boy who promised to marry her when they were just twelve. A boy she hasn’t seen in five years is better than ole fish face.
Sir Richard, in his drunken state, thinks this is a fine idea and agrees to help her get across the country to her old home. He thinks better of it after he sobers up and finds himself sharing a stagecoach with a farmer, a spinster, and a thief, not to mention a seventeen year old girl itching for excitement.
What follows is a madcap adventure. There’s a jewel theft, an elopement, and a murder.
I really liked The Corinthian. I’ll put it right up there with my favorite Georgette Heyer novels. It’s fun! You can’t take it too seriously. A lot of silly stuff happens. Sure, there’s a murder, but nobody liked that guy anyway.
Sir Richard takes most of the focus of the novel, but Pen is a fun female character too. She likes the freedom wearing boy’s clothes gives her. There are downsides when she almost ends up in jail, or when a boy tries to fight her for besmirching his lady’s honour. She’s quick with a convincing story. She’s curious. She’s unique. She’s not quite a MPDG though.
I read this on vacation and it was the perfect beach read. It didn’t require a lot of brain power, but it was clever and interesting enough to keep me engaged.