The author, in this novel that mixes historical events with fiction, tells about the rise of the poet Alexander Pope and about the creation of the poem that made him rich and famous, “The rape of the Lock“, an epic style satire about the mundane society of that epoch.
And the novel describes vividly that same society, the noble spending their time in entertainment and at parties, the girls always trying to get attentions and maybe a rich husband, the witty dialogues, everything with in background the political tensions between catholics and protestants.
The author is able to describe the historical London and the customs of its inhabitants, such the preparation to feasts and dinner and the entertainment of the period.
The historical part is the one that in my opinion works well, I doubt more the fiction one; in fact I found difficult to have sympathy for the characters and their issues, moreover I think that this mix between history and fiction could appear too much a fake: for example the love between Arabella and Lord Petre is the author mere speculation, who in fact knows the true dynamics of their relationship? It should be clear that I’m not a priori against this kind of transposition of true story in forms of entertainment (a miniseries that works very well is Hatfields & McCoy), maybe in this specific case – considering also the competences of the author – the novel could have worked better with less fiction, better described characters and much emphasis on the historical component; despite this the novel is still a nice reading.
* The scandal of the season by Sophie Gee – ★★★☆☆
*I read this book in italian