Love and Folly

I originally called this book Love and Freindship—I love Jane Austen's spelling. I set it in the last year of the Regency. Chapter 1 begins with the death of George III. My heroines are Lady Jean and Lady Margaret Conway, Lady Elizabeth's twin sisters. Jean is wildly in love with Owen Davies, a Shelleyesque poet who is cataloguing the Brecon library, whereas Margaret has a tendre for Lord Clanross's private secretary, who is in love with Jean. Both Johnny Dyott (the secretary) and Owen are involved in Radical politics, as is Clanross, who wants an immediate reform of Parliament to the horror of Lady Anne, Elizabeth's political sister..

The romances work out against a canvas of public events. It was an eventful year. I wanted to have a peek at politics and also at marriage. Most romances end with the heroine's marriage. I decided to see how the relationships between Elizabeth and Tom, and Emily and Richard, had developed over the course of five years, so I doubled the heroines and then doubled the plot, too. I had fun doing it.

"In the demanding genre of Regency fiction, Sheila Simonson shines with the brilliance of her uniquely fascinating character studies . . . the connoisseur will revel in the impeccable depiction of the late Regency period and a rich tapestry of beautifully developed relationships." M. Helfer