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The Fortune Hunter: A Richard & Judy Pick Paperback – 28 Aug 2014
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'Timeless, tantalising and ultimately, hugely satisfying. A terrific novel' (Richard and Judy, Richard and Judy Book Club)
Sparkling and thoroughly engaging...highly enjoyable (The Times)
'A turbocharged drama packed with passion, politics and plenty of horsepower' (Tatler)
'Finery, flattery, flirting and the erotic charge of the hunt' (Sunday Times)
'A hugely enjoyable historical romp and a major new talent' (Sunday Express)
'Delicious and clever and addictive' (Elizabeth Buchan)
'A rollicking good read...maintains a thrilling pace' (Mail on Sunday)
'Wonderful characters, completely assured writing and feel for the hunting milieu and above all such fun. It's going to be a giant hit' (Amanda Craig)
'Daisy Goodwin has triumphed again. In THE FORTUNE HUNTER she weaves a rich and textured tale of desire and ambition. Sizzling with energy and passion on every page, Goodwin's characters compel the reader to fall in love with them' (Amanda Foreman)
'A sumptuous, scrumptious confection, with country houses, Austrian Empresses and Victorian glamour galore' (Lucy Worsley)
'An intelligent and entertaining romp through the ballrooms and boudoirs of late 19th century society' (Good Housekeeping)
Expertly drawn characters, exquisite period detail...a sparkling read (The Lady Magazine)
THE FORTUNE HUNTER is the true story of a nineteenth century Queen of Hearts and a cavalry captain, told by the author of the bestselling, MY LAST DUCHESS.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
What I liked about the novel. Perhaps an answer to an old riddle?
I’d read and reviewed: Moreton Frewen’s excellent memoirs – Melton Mowbray, enjoyed Harry Custance’s ‘ Riding recollections and Turf stories,’ and I own Custance’s own copy of Captain Pennell Elmhirst’s ‘The Cream of Leicestershire,’ so Chicken Hartopp one of the main supporting characters in Ms Goodwin’s historical romance was known to me. I had never resolved the issue of Hartopp’s moniker and on page 26 the elusive question is asked. So I read on and on and on through boredom to page 492 and finally received confirmation that I won’t be told after all!
What I did not like
Captain Hartopp is depicted more like a teddy bear than an outsize 16stone, 6ft 1 firebrand and pugilist. Research inconsistencies abound: Bay Middleton wears the uniform of - the cherry pickers says Goodwin. In fact Bay Middleton was in the 12th Lancers. Hartopp was of course the well known ADC of the 10th Hussars – he brought polo to England. And his uniform was of the chainy 10th, where the Prince of Wales was Colonel in Chief. Not the 11th - the cherry bums famous with Prince Albert’s colours and of course famous from the charge of the light brigade the only regiment allowed to wear the unmistakeable cherry scarlet trousers.
Fred’s income on page 11 is £1000 per annum and on page 66 £10,000. While on page 337 Ms Baird’s future income will be £60,000 – yet she needs to pawn jewels for her £25 Atlantic crossing. The ‘madding crowd’ only travels first class – (page 432) second class would not even be a discussion Ms Goodwin; an author who can always find space for the cheap political shot: ‘A grocer’s wife can become First lady but she can never become a sovereign Queen.’ However it is the splendour and spectacle of 1875, the poetry, the hunting songs so vividly captured by Frewen that is beyond Ms Goodwin- page 84: ‘Spencer broke a carrot into pieces and offered it to the horse on the palm of his hand. The horse snorted and filled the stable with its steaming breath.’
Ms Goodwin filled her balloon with an amazing cast of characters but this’ madding crowd’ of royals shared nothing in common with their hostess. The balloon took off on an adventure. Ms Goodwin remained grounded, fearing the hunt and facing the retribution of a host of dissatisfied readers who remain in this book far from the 'madding crowd.'
Here are my scores: Research 2/10 dialogue 1/10 action 1/10 politics 0/10 humour 0/10.
It was interesting and entertaining and there has obviously been a lot of research undertaken, but it just didn't capture me the way I had hoped.
I did like the story...but some of the characters...Oh my. Stereotypical caricatures and most of them hateful. In particular I took an instant dislike to Charlotte's brother, Fred - Even from the first chapter he started to grate on my nerves because of his inability to pronounce the final 'g' on words ending with 'ing'. Sportin', Singin', Dancin'. Urgh. I expected him to say "Don'tChaKnow" at the end of every sentence. There's just no depth to any of them. Apart from Charlotte, she alone was the high point of the book.
I'm maybe in the minority here but I actually like a good triangle, as long as it's well done and not just for the sake of it. Personally, if I were Charlotte I'd have happily handed Bay over to Sisi, and good luck to them. Sisi was shallow and unpleasant and Bay...Well, he wasn't much of a catch, dithering about between the two of them.
It's a good story but very insubstantial.