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The Disgrace of Kitty Grey [Kindle Edition]

Mary Hooper
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Book Description

Kitty is living a happy, carefree life as a dairymaid in the countryside. The grand family she is employed by looks after her well, and she loves her trade, caring for the gentle cows and working in the cool, calm dairy. And then, of course, there is Will, the river man who she thinks is very fond of her, and indeed she is of him. Surely he will ask her to marry him soon? Then one day disaster strikes: Will disappears. Kitty is first worried and then furious. She fears that Will has only been leading her on all this time, and has now gone to London to make his fortune, forgetting about her completely. So when Kitty is asked to go to London to pick up a copy of Pride and Prejudice, the latest novel by the very fashionable Jane Austen, Kitty leaps at the chance to track down Will. But Kitty has no idea how vast London is, and how careful she must be. It is barely a moment before eagle-eyed pickpockets have spotted the country-born-and-bred Kitty and relieved her of her money and belongings. Dauntingly fast, she has lost her only means of returning home and must face the terrifying prospect of stealing in order to survive - and of being named a thief . . .

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Product Description


Another sumptuous, satisfying read from Mary Hooper (Lucy Mangan)

Deliciously funny, thoughtful and atmospheric (Amanda Criag The Times)

More wonderfully atmospheric historical romance from Hooper, set in the time of Jane Austin (The Bookseller)

I loved the gripping story of dairymaid Kitty Grey who travels to London on a quest. Beautifully researched, it evokes below stairs Jane Austen in Dickens' London! (Caroline Lawrence)

Superb . . . Hooper is a wise and charming writer (Philip Womack Literary Review)

Hooper's storylines pack a 21st-century punch . . . Historical fiction worthy of the genre (Amanda Foreman New York Times)

Praise for Velvet: Powerfully plotted . . . almost a teen version of Sarah Waters' Affinity with a bit of Jacqueline Wilson's Hetty Feather thrown in (Independent on Sunday)

Praise for Fallen Grace: By any standards, an exceptional novel . . . the gift for taking historical situations and making them emotionally engaging is far too rare . . . after six historical novels, this one is Hooper's breakthrough and its characterisation, plotting and atmosphere are first-rate and deserve prizes . . . Not since Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke has there been such a gorgeous evocation of Victorian life - or so satisfying a conclusion (Amanda Craig The Times)

This wonderfully atmospheric story, set in Victorian London, will draw in teenage girls with its blend of sadness, hardship and redemption . . . A sensitive and tautly-plotted novel, intelligently told (Daily Mail)

Book Description

A hugely romantic new novel set in the time of Jane Austen, from the popular author of Fallen Grace. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Eva Ibbotson and Georgette Heyer

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 452 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1408827611
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens (9 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BKY32R8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #246,484 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mary Hooper has been writing books for nearly thirty years. And before that she was writing short stories. Her early books about a pregnant teenager: MEGAN, are still very popular, one teacher calling the three books a "rite of passage".

Over the last five or so years she has been writing nothing but historical fiction, mostly for young adults, although NEWES FROM THE DEAD was actually written for an adult audience. This book has won several awards, including both the Hull and the Stockport Book Awards. The historian and novelist Alison Weir said that NEWES was "Stunning!" There are even plans to turn it into a musical, though if you know the content of the book you'll conclude that it would be a very unusual one.

Mary's book set in a Victorian undertaker's is called FALLEN GRACE and comes out in the UK in June 2010 and in the US a little later. Lucy Mangan, Guardian columnist, called it "Bloody Marvellous!" Her latest book is called VELVET and is about a 19th century medium. THE DISGRACE OF KITTY GREY is Mary's first Regency novel and will be published in May 2013.

Mary has a fan page on Facebook and her own website.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 11 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Life is hard work but safe for Kitty in the country. A dairy maid on a big estate, she has a secure job, friends and even a sweetheart. What should be an exciting opportunity (a trip to London to purchase a copy of the newly-published Pride and Prejudice for her employers) turns into a nightmare. Country-bred, innocent Kitty is not street-wise enough for London.
This is an evocative story, as one would expect from Mary Hooper. The world is filtered through Kitty's innocent point of view and Hooper's writing is, as always, deceptively simple. Kitty's innocence is powerfully contrasted with the might of the establishment as it conspires to crush her.
The powerlessness of innocence and poverty in the face of a law designed to protect the already-wealthy is especially pertinent to us today, as we watch legal aid being removed from the most vulnerable. Kitty has no chance of avoiding the fate of all those so poor they are forced to break the law to survive. Or has she?
We have seen some wonderful settings in Mary Hooper's historical novels: laundry, funeral parlour, cress-selling, sweet-making and now a dairy-maid - so different in London to in the country. All beautifully evoked and described.
Beautifully researched, charmingly written; Kitty Grey is a delight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Disgrace of Kitty Grey 25 May 2013
By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Kitty may not be rich but she is happy with her life, she works for a wealthy family as a dairymaid and although her hours are long she is well treated and has plenty of food to eat. She even has a sweetheart, local ferryman Will, who she adores and hopes to one day marry. Then Will disappears leaving Kitty to look after his four year old sister Betsy alone. Will didn't even say goodbye but Kitty knows he has family in London and wanted to go there to make his fortune so when the opportunity comes up she decides to go in search of him to reunite Betsy with her brother. What Kitty didn't realise was how big London is or just quite how harsh life can be there for a woman alone with a young child. Within minutes of their arrival all of their belongings are stolen and Kitty is forced to take desperate measures just to survive, ones that end with her arrested for stealing.

I'm a huge fan of Mary Hooper's writing, she has a way of bringing history to life and I think that's partly down to all the little details she adds to her stories - those little snippets from true stories that show how well researched her books are. I love the way she always introduces some less talked about aspects of history too, in Fallen Grace it was Victorian funeral traditions, in Velvet it was the horror of baby farms and in The Disgrace of Kitty Grey it was the treatment of female prisoners and the prison ships that were sent to colonise Australia along with some very interesting snippets about the life of a milkmaid.

Kitty is such a great character, she is quite innocent, especially when it comes to the ways of city life, but at the same time she has a great inner strength that is what pulls her through the difficult times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Always a delight to read a Mary Hooper book. 6 Jun. 2013
By Serendipity Reviews TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Originally published on Serendipity Reviews.
Mary Hooper is one of those authors who can pick you up and transport you anywhere in history. Every book she writes is so thoroughly researched, you feel like the author has magical powers allowing her to visit the periods in history she writes so realistically about.

During this novel, we are transported back to the time of Napoleon and find ourselves in a beautiful, idyllic country setting. Life isn't easy, but Kitty loves her job and works hard to do it well; she takes great pride in the dairy. With the love of Will, the ferryman, she is content and looks forward to spending the future with him. It's only when he disappears that Kitty's life starts to unravel. In her desperation to find him, she enters London blindly only to discover her future doesn't look too bright any more.

This book is full of fascinating contrasts. In the beginning, you compare Kitty's life to the wealthy family she works for. The differences are obvious, and yet surprisingly, Kitty's life seems more appealing. At least she can choose who she would like to marry unlike the young ladies of the house who are bound by their parent's decisions. As the book progresses you begin to contrast life in the country with life in London. London comes across as grey and depressing, as Kitty struggles to survive. As each day passes, her situation just gets worse until she ends up in Newgate Prison, the lowest she can go.

I loved the descriptions in this book.From country life to London life, you get an excellent impression of both. Newgate Prison has always intrigued me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tale 9 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved the sense of history in this book, the places felt really realistic. It had lots of moments where I was left guessing what would happen next as I didn't know what was about to happen.
Kitty Grey lives a charmed life as milkmaid in a model dairy in a country house. She is in love with Will, a ferryman who lives in a small run-down hovel by the river but hopes to go to London to make his fortune so that he and Kitty to marry. However, things go badly for Will, who along with his sisters was orphaned. His elder sister is forced to leave as her husband is laid off asnd starts a fights with the farmer. Will has to look after Betsy, his little sister, and brings her to the manor asking Kitty if she can stay there. This is on the day that Kitty has led one of her cows into the library so that the girls of the house can use her in a living picture charade. I wish more had been made of this idea as it could have worked out more fun but it got swamped in the rest of the story and seemed only to be to get Kitty to be friends with the Lord's daughter and be asked by her to go to London to get a copy of Pride and Prejudice. This seemed a bit far-fetched. Kitty finds Will his gone and left her with Betsy and assumes he has abandoned them. She thinks to looks for him whilst in London with Betsy. on arrival she is robbed. i found her reaction perplexing as she did not even think to go to the law, or even talk to a clergyman in St Pauls who might have helped and got word to the fam,ily at the hall. Instead she goes to be a milkmaid in a filthy London dairy and stays with Betsy in horrible lodgings. When Betsy falls sick she burns a chair for firewood and is sent to Newgate prison. The scenes here were really atmospheric.
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