Habits of the House

Habits of the House

eBook - 2012
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Fay Weldon's new novel takes us inside the lives of an aristocratic household in the last three months of the nineteenth century. It's a time of riot and confusion, social upheaval, war abroad and shortage of money. Tea gowns are still laced with diamonds; there are still nine courses at dinner, but bankruptcy looms for the Dilbernes. Whilst the Earl, gambler and man about town, must seek a new post in government; his wife Lady Isobel's solution is to marry off their son Arthur to a wealthy heiress, and without delay. But how? It's the end of the season, and choices are few. There's Minnie O'
Publisher: New York : Head of Zeus Ltd., 2012.
ISBN: 9781908800831
1908800836
Characteristics: 1 online resource (349 p.)
Contents: A Busy Day Above StairsRosina the Beautiful; Mr Baum Makes His Move; The Return of His Lordship; A Royal Dinner; About the Author; About the Book; Table of Contents; Copyright.
Some Things, Once Said ... Tessa Too Lets a Cat Out of the Bag; Rosina Spills the Beans to Minnie; A Dinner in Preparation; A Reconciliation Below Stairs; Rosina and Minnie Shop at Liberty & Co; The Earl Makes a Mistake; In the Cabinet Office; Taking Tea at Liberty's; Rosina Goes to Vine Street; In the Servants' Hall; The Trip to Dilberne Court; A Household Upset; Tessa Makes a Visit; The Bear at Esher; Rosina Challenges Her Mother; Rosina Sets Pappagallo Free; Her Ladyship Faces the Truth; Arthur Goes to Half Moon Street; Minnie Weeps All Day; A Busy Day at the Baum's; A Busy Day Below Stairs.
Something Turns UpHer Ladyship Receives Tessa O'Brien's Card; Eating Out: a Dinner Party at Pagani's; Angry People; Mrs Baum Waits; Tessa Tells Minnie How It Is
Or Tries To; A Proposal at Second Sight; A Matter of Reputation; Arthur is Moved to Visit Flora; The Gift of Equal Status; The Earl of Dilberne Contemplates the Future; The Fitting of the Dresses; In the Servants' Hall; His Lordship Starts a Company; Grace at Brown's; Minnie's Odd Ideas; Minnie Prepares to Go Riding; Warm Toes in Golders Green; Minnie Asserts her Rights; Riding in Rotten Row; Grace and Tessa go Shopping.
Cover; Title Page; The House Awakes; A Certain Slackness; A Certain Reluctance; The Earl Opens the Door; An Early Breakfast; Grace Wakes Rosina; Her Ladyship's Troubled Morning; A Whole Day to be Reorganized; The Bringer of Bad News; Après le Déluge; How the Earl Got Them into This Mess; A Solution is Found; The Earl Walks to the House of Lords; Arthur Proposes to His Mistress; Lady Isobel Instructs the Staff; Another Task for Grace; An Informal Party Comes and Goes; Grace Presents her List; Arthur Pays Another Visit; The Earl of Dilberne Lunches with the Powerful; Arthur Declines a Bride.
Summary: Fay Weldon's new novel takes us inside the lives of an aristocratic household in the last three months of the nineteenth century. It's a time of riot and confusion, social upheaval, war abroad and shortage of money. Tea gowns are still laced with diamonds; there are still nine courses at dinner, but bankruptcy looms for the Dilbernes. Whilst the Earl, gambler and man about town, must seek a new post in government; his wife Lady Isobel's solution is to marry off their son Arthur to a wealthy heiress, and without delay. But how? It's the end of the season, and choices are few. There's Minnie O'

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t
thebritlass
Feb 15, 2018

Great for those who are missing Downton Abbey

t
Tannisz
May 31, 2017

This book is absolutely fabulous. I think other readers who have dismissed this book as being 'light reading' simply don't get it. The book is highly readable, yes, but the writing is insightful, generous and bang on. Fay Weldon's writing doesn't pander and cleaves to the truth, and because of that, she's very funny, very giving and very smart.
And, too, Fay Weldon wrote for Upstairs Downstairs, the incredibly popular tv series that Downton Abbey emulated.

t
TheresaAJ
May 22, 2017

Weldon, writer of the pilot episode of Upstairs, Downstairs, introduces readers to the Earl of Dilberne's household in the fall of 1899. Alas, all is not ordered nor financially well in his rented London home at 17 Belgrave Square. The earl's investment in a South African gold mine is lost to flooding and the Boer War, his son has run up huge bills with his tailor and courtesan, and his daughter refuses to marry and is active in social causes. When a Chicago heiress with a less than discretionary past appears on the scene as an answer to the earl's financial woes, the shenanigans begin with both the upper class family and the servants who share their world. With sly wit and a great stirring of many pots, Weldon shares a now-vanished world with readers. Books 2 and 3, Long Live the King and The Last Countess, complete her trilogy. This book is the May 2017 selection of the Willa Cather Book Club.

u
uncommonreader
Feb 23, 2014

Weldon is either capitalizing on the Downton Abbey craze or writing a new series for television on Edwardian England. It is written with some wit but is light and not memorable. A guilty pleasure!

e
EmilyEm
Aug 17, 2013

Part One of Weldon?s trilogy introduces us to the a somewhat clichéd upper class British family?both upstairs and down?at the turn of the 20th century, short on cash, feeling change in the air, restless in many ways. Enter Minnie O?Brien, wealthy heiress from Chicago with ideas of her own, and the story gets more interesting.

Weldon introduces a lot of characters and gives plenty of historical contexts, all written in an easy, breezy way that made this fun reading. I?m sure I?ll have all the downstairs staff figured out by the time I?ve finished the next installment!

i
islandqueen47
May 14, 2013

Slow, slow, slow! Maybe shouldn't read it at bedtime.

hgeng63 Apr 16, 2013

Diverting until you get your next Downton Abbey fix. Nice descriptions of clothing & salient details that only a woman would notice, but too sentimental & not enough about the servants.

l
lilypad_1
Jan 22, 2013

Delightful story illustrating the societal strata in late 1800's using two families, one from England, one from the U.S. If you like Downton Abbey you will enjoy this.

debwalker Jan 10, 2013

The first in a trilogy about an aristocratic family in Edwardian England - shades of Downton!

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