Alethea, the youngest, most talented and high-spirited daughter of the Darcys, has married too hastily on the rebound. She soon discovers that her husband is not only a brute but that he has bizarre ideas about a wife's duty in the bedroom. She will have to flee, yet she knows he will pursue her. She must take drastic measures to foil his plans and protect herself. So Alethea sets out to cross the Channel, masquerading as one Aloysius Hawkins, gentleman. Accompanied only by her redoubtable maid, Figgins, her plan is to join her elder sister in Italy. But events - always dramatic and at times life threatening - conspire to keep the sisters apart. Until the mysterious Titus Manningtree, in Italy to pursue a lost Titian painting, takes a hand in her complicated affairs...
Elizabeth Aston was born in Chile to an impeccably English father and a distinctly un-English Argentine mother. Educated by Benedictine nuns in Calcutta, Fabians in London, and Inklings at Oxford, she's lived in India, England, Malta and Italy.
Her Mountjoy books (originally published by Hodder, and now reissued as ebooks) were inspired by years of living in York, where her son was a chorister at the Minster. They depict the unholy, unquiet, and frequently unseemly goings-on of an imaginary northern cathedral city and its peculiar inhabitants, enhanced with a touch of magic and enchantment - Elizabeth Aston has always been fascinated by what lies just beyond our sight.
Her other books include the bestselling Darcy series - six historical romantic comedies set in the world of Jane Austen, and a contemporary novel, Writing Jane Austen. These were inspired by her love of Jane Austen - her heroes, her heroines and her wicked sense of humour.