Saturday, January 26, 2008

Life Mask

Life Mask by Emma Donoghue
Historical Fiction

This is a rambling book about the late 1700s England. Eliza Farren is an actress who has been accepted into the Beau Monde of the Lords and elite of England. She is the constant companion of Lord Derby (of the famous horse race). She is chaperoned by her mother and is waiting endlessly for the Lord's current wife to finally die. Eliza befriends Anne Damer, a scupltress and rumored lesbian. Friendship with Anne brings mockery and ridicule.

Although this book is the story of these characters, I found it more interesting in describing the era. The parliamentary frustrations dealing with Pitt and trying to topple the government of the time. A mad King and his fun-loving heir are portrayed. The marriages and affairs, friendships and liasons ebb and recede with the writing of many a libelous pamphlet. The Drury Lane Theater and Sheridan the playwright are described embroiled in their private dramas.

This is a world close to revolution as France gets rid of their monarchy. War seems imminent.

The book is a leisurely and enjoyable read

This book was read for the From the Stacks Challenge. I have now completed this challenge



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