Meridon (The Wideacre Trilogy: Book 3) Paperback – 16 Oct 2006
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Praise for ‘Meridon’:
‘Compelling… Philippa Gregory reigns supreme as the mistress of historical drama.’
‘Subtle and exciting.’
Praise for ‘The Favoured Child’:
‘For sheer pace and percussive drama it will take a lot of beating.’
About the Author
Philippa Gregory is an internationally renowned author of historical novels. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. Works that have been adapted for television include A Respectable Trade, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool. The Other Boleyn Girl is now a major film, starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana. Philippa Gregory lives in the North of England with her family.
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Top Customer Reviews
Beatrice Lacey is desperately in love with the Wideacre estate which belongs to her family, but as a female in the eighteenth century, she cannot inherit. Despite the fact she knows the land better than anyone, she must watch the estate go to her brother Harry, who has no idea how to run it. The realisation of this prompts Beatrice to start a desperate quest to secure her place on the land, no matter what. At first, everything goes according to plan: she becomes almost a goddess on Wideacre (Beatrice means 'she who blesses'), gets married to a man who understands her and seems to have everything. But secrets from her past start to surface, and Beatrice becomes more and more desperate, taking and taking until the estate is on the verge of ruin. Her joy in life (food and sex), in Wideacre and in horses disappears, and there is nothing left.
It's interesting to watch the other characters change and grow with Beatrice. Her brother goes from a gifted young boy to a portly, boorish squire; Celia, his wife, matures from a wallflower into a pious, determined, brave young woman, the angel to Beatrice's devil; and John, Beatrice's husband, goes through hell and back. Beatrice, however, is different.
"If that was the way of the world, then the world would have to change. I would never change."
She makes this vow at five years old, but she sticks to it. However, one of the themes of the novel is adaptation.Read more ›
Meridon eventually finds her way to Wideacre, the mysterious "Wide" of her dreams - but of course, the reality is far different. Since it has been without a squire for fifteen years, the estate has become a commune. Meridon is both perplexed and annoyed with the changes, and continually torn between the appeal of the simple life on the land, represented by Will Tyacke, and Society, represented by Perry Havering and his mother. Eventually, under her new name of Sarah Lacey, she goes with them to London for the Season. However, she quickly finds that the rich can be just as deceiving and selfish as the poor, if not more so, and eventually realises that this cold selfish life is not for her.
This book has far more social commentary than the others - the idealism of Will Tyacke reminds the reader of Ralph, who is mysteriously absent. Perhaps this is meant to show that the past is gone, but I still felt that he should have made an appearance, however brief, because it would have been a link, and his absence after the first two books leaves a small hole. The miseries of high society are made crystal clear as Sarah feels bereft and alone.Read more ›
Beatrice Lacey has so many sides to her personality, she is the Witch of Wideacre who can make the land grow and then break it and wring it dry. As she faces her downfall, even after all the evil she has done, I think it is still impossible not to sympathise with her.
If you enjoy this book then you shoudl definately read The Favoured Child and Meridon, the two sequals, as well.
Meridon and her sister Dandy are sold in a job lot to Robert's circus, where Dandy trains as a trapeze artist and Meridon trains and rides the ponies with robert's son, Jack.
When Dandy is killed, Meridon is devestated, and goes on the road with the horse she won in a bet, Sea. Not knowing, or caring where she ends up, Meridon somehow finds her way to Wideacre, where she finds out that she is really Sarah Lacey, heir to the estate...
Although each of the books in this trilogy is set in the same place, about the same family, Philippa Gregory manages to create original storylines and characters. all the main characters, Beatrice, Julia and Meridon/Sarah share some similar qualities which make them Lacey's through and through, they are each different and have different attitudes to the land and ownership. This book would make sense on its own, but, more so than "The Favoured Child" features the backstory of the Lacey's rule on Wideacre, so i would recommend reading the other two books first.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Like many others here, I love Philippa Gregory's historical novels but this? I've never actually not finished a book before but abandoned this about 1/3 of the way through as life... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
I didn't enjoy this book if I'm honest, but once started I had to finish. It's a weird thing to read a book from the view of the villain and not the victim. Read morePublished 27 days ago by jade
Bit long winded at times, but writing got better by book three. I have read a lot of her books and you can see that these were written at the beginning of her career.Published 1 month ago by Mrs Elda Hobson
I found this book hard going as the heroine was not a very nice person. I had to press on and get to the end because I wanted to see her suffer the way she had made all the other... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eunice Roberts
Entertaining but let down by the wholly unbelievable ending. You can't just "win" title deeds, the previous owner would have had to consent to the transfer as happened... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Paul Bailey-Smith
Going to read it on Holiday I know I will enjoy it I always enjoy Phillipa Gregory's booksPublished 2 months ago by Mrs. A. Struthers