Lady's Maid: A Novel

Lady's Maid: A Novel

by Margaret Forster
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

“Fascinating . . . The reader is treated to a revealing account of the passionate romance between Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning through the eyes of an intimate observer.”
–Booklist

Young and timid but full of sturdy good sense and awakening sophistication, Lily Wilson arrives in London in 1844, becoming a lady’s maid to the

…  See more details below

Overview

“Fascinating . . . The reader is treated to a revealing account of the passionate romance between Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning through the eyes of an intimate observer.”
–Booklist

Young and timid but full of sturdy good sense and awakening sophistication, Lily Wilson arrives in London in 1844, becoming a lady’s maid to the fragile, housebound Elizabeth Barrett. Lily is quickly drawn to her mistress’s gaiety and sharp intelligence, the power of her poetry, and her deep emotional need. It is a strange intimacy that will last sixteen years.

It is Lily who smuggles Miss Barrett out of the gloomy Wimpole Street house, witnesses her secret wedding to Robert Browning in an empty church, and flees with them to threadbare lodgings and the heat, light, and colors of Italy. As housekeeper, nursemaid, companion, and confidante, Lily is with Elizabeth in every crisis–birth, bereavement, travel, literary triumph. As her devotion turns almost to obsession, Lily forgets her own fleeting loneliness. But when Lily’s own affairs take a dramatic turn, she comes to expect the loyalty from Elizabeth that she herself has always given.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Elizabeth Wilson, maid to Elizabeth Barrett, witnesses with ambivalence her sickly but charismatic mistress's affair with Robert Browning. This example of top-drawer historical fiction was a BOMC main selection in cloth. (May)
Library Journal
Until Wilson appeared, it seemed impossible to the agonizingly sensitive and delicate Elizabeth Barrett that anyone could replace the beloved Crow, who had deserted her mistress to marry a baker. As retiring as her new mistress and adept at ministering to the sick, the new maid soon establishes herself as the invalid poetess's defender and companion, even accompanying her in her elopement with Robert Browning. Thus begins an intense relationship that is to become the burden and support of each of their lives. Forster brilliantly explores the uneasy intimacy between mistress and servant, working-class girl and educated lady of leisure to produce a compelling character study and an engrossing novel of the colorful Browning menage. This London Times best seller is highly recommended. --Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345497437
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/15/2007
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
477,474
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 7.96(h) x 1.24(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >