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This issue’s cover illustration by Steve Stone is from Darke by Angie Sage. Thanks to Bloomsbury for their help with this July cover.
By clicking here you can view, print or download the fully artworked Digital Edition of BfK 195 July 2012 .
In this novel of aristocratic life à la Downton Abbey, there is mention of His Royal Highness King Edward on page 11. It was then that I began to suspect that it may not have been as thoroughly researched as it should have been. The Darlington family have an historic pile and a way of life to maintain but with no money. Help may be at hand in the form of twins who, on the verge of becoming eighteen when they come into a huge fortune, are taken in by the family in the hope that the boy Teddy might marry Maggie, their eldest daughter.
Maggie, however, has had a baby when travelling abroad. It turns out that she is in love with the father of her baby but he happens to be the handsome groom, Michael. He does not know about the baby until the maid Nora points it out to him (the fact that the baby is blond and all the Darlingtons are dark might have been a clue). Therese, the baby’s nanny, who does not get up in the night for the baby as that is Lady Darlington’s job, is in fact Lord Darlington’s illegitimate daughter, and so it goes on. There is a subplot about a gossip column written for a newspaper which is discovered by the son Wesley. He has been in America and decides that the class system is wrong and he can pay court to Therese.
The Americanisms in this book are legion: I could go on and on, but ‘school at Oxford’ not university, shows how little care has gone into the research and the editing of this inane story. Downton Abbey it is not. I do not understand how such a book could be published for the British market or indeed any market, by a reputable publisher.