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Wild Romance: A Victorian Story of a Marriage, a Trial, and a Self-Made Woman
     

Wild Romance: A Victorian Story of a Marriage, a Trial, and a Self-Made Woman

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by ChloÃ" Schama
 

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What started as a friendly conversation between a young girl, Theresa Longworth, and an army officer, William Charles Yelverton, on a steamer bound from France to England in 1852 would culminate nearly a decade later in one of the biggest public scandals the era had witnessed, with enormous implications for society at large. Seized upon by the Victorian press, the

Overview

What started as a friendly conversation between a young girl, Theresa Longworth, and an army officer, William Charles Yelverton, on a steamer bound from France to England in 1852 would culminate nearly a decade later in one of the biggest public scandals the era had witnessed, with enormous implications for society at large. Seized upon by the Victorian press, the trials to legitimize Longworth's marriage to Yelverton before the law courts of Ireland, Scotland, and England brought to the fore several of the most disconcerting matters in the Victorian era: the inadequacies of female education, prejudice against single women, and problems with marriage law.

When Theresa Yelverton emerged victorious from her legal battles, she was paraded through Dublin's streets like a queen. Her victory, though, was short-lived, as she learned that life as a single woman-even the life of a well-known writer and traveler, as she became-would always be hard. Theresa Yelverton became an unwitting harbinger of the turmoil of her era and evoked timeless fears and fascinations: the fantasy of romance, the grip of obsession, the plight of unrequited love, the fear of abandonment. Chloe Schama brilliantly recaptures an ordinary woman caught up in an extraordinary affair, catapulted into fame and notoriety, forcing her society to confront some of its most unsettling issues.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802719683
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
08/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Chloe Schama has written for the New Republic, New York Sun and the Guardian. She lives in Washington, D.C. This is her first book.
Chloë Schama has written for the New Republic, New York Sun and the Guardian. She lives in Washington, D.C. This is her first book.

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Wild Romance: A Victorian Story of a Marriage, a Trial, and a Self-Made Woman 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
shortnsweet875 More than 1 year ago
Wild Romance tells the story of Theresa Longworth, a Victorian woman who broke out of conventions to get what she wanted. The first half focused on her pursuit of, affair with, and marriage to William Charles Yelverton, and on the trial that sought to determine if that marriage was valid. I really enjoyed this half of the book - it read quickly, held my interest, and presented a fascinating analysis of Theresa's strategies and the public's view of them. It looked closely at the expected roles of women in Victorian society, and the ways in which Theresa managed to cleverly sidestep them. I enjoyed reading about the various trials, and why the public or court favored Theresa or Yelverton, the factors that formed their opinions, etc. Although Theresa isn't exactly someone you can root for wholeheartedly, I still sympathized with her plight. The second half, however, was a different matter. It tells of Theresa's life after the trials, and serves as a more detailed biography of her later life. I found that I didn't care much what happened to her - at least not in such detail. I felt as though since the trial couldn't be stretched to an entire book on its own, Schama filled the rest of the pages with every detail on Theresa's life she could find. Essentially, we follow Theresa on her travels, and travel she did, quite literally up until her death. Some passages were interesting, and she does further examine the roles of women - I did especially like Theresa's musings on the institution of marriage in various cultures, the search for a definition of that institution having consumed years of her life. Yet I felt the detailed descriptions of Theresa's experience in each country dragged on a bit. Overall, a fascinating read that loses its momentum halfway through, but one I would recommend for those interested in the way the roles women were expected to play in Victorian society could be broken through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago