I have blogged about Ada Leverson before and she keeps popping up where I least expect it which is rather nice. In case you know nothing about her, she was a great friend of Oscar Wilde and stood by him through thin and thick which makes me like her very much, and she is a simply delightful writer. Links to my posts abut her are at the foot of this post.
Love's Shadow forms the first part of the trilogy The Little Otleys reviewed by me earlier, here and was reprinted a few years ago by Bloomsbury. It has now been published again, which I am delighted about, by Mike Walmer who contacted me a few months ago to ask if I would be interested in reviewing some of his books. As they are just the kind of books I love a swift Yes Please was sent back and here are the two I have read so far.
Love's Shadow repaid a second reading and re-introduced me to Bruce and Edith, the Little Otleys mentioned above. An extraordinary and pompous young man it is a mystery to me how she sticks him. My original review of this book is here. I can only say that if you read and enjoy this book, which I am sure you will, you need to then read the other two in the trilogy which are pure gold.
The Twelfth Hour is set in the time of the long and golden Edwardian summer when all was beautiful and leisured and young ladies in glamorous gowns seemed to drift around London charming and falling in love with mustachioed young men and the war seemed far away. We meet Felicity, Sylvie and Savile Crofton all in the centre of the melee. Savile is only sixteen and yet seems to exhibit a world weary attitude far in advance of his years. Find him a slight oddity have to admit.
Felicity is married to Lord Chetwode, the man of her dreams, but he seems to be a dull old stick and more interested in horses and antiques than her and she begins to feel neglected. She starts half hearted flirtations but knows that they will never go anywhere "When Felicity came back from the St James Theatre than night she thought that she was a little in love with Bertie Wilton. But she knew she wasn't"
Sylvia, the younger sister is in love with Frank Woodville the penniless secretary of a Greek millionaire, Mr Ridonaki who her father wants her to marry. Mr Ridonaki pursues her relentlessly despite the fact she makes it clear she will never love him.
I found this a rather odd little book and not quite sure in which direction it was going. It was published in 1907 and was Ada Leverson's first book. Very brittle and amusing, light and frothy but not a huge amount of substance. Love's Shadow and the rest of the Otley trilogy show her off at her best and I rather regard The Twelfth Hour as a test piece, dipping the toe in the water to see how it would go.
Delighted to see Ada Leverson being brought back into the light. So many wonderful authors of this time that we never hear of and my discovery of this author was sheer serendipity and led me to more reading.
Do try her.