The Country Gentleman

Fiona Hill, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (325p) ISBN 978-0-312-01016-4
In the battle of the sexes waged in this lively Regency romance, the contestants are overtaken by circumstances. Bluestocking Anne Guilfoyle, still single at 29, is a liberated woman happily ensconced in a 10-year platonic relationship with worldly Lord Ensley whose perilous fiscal condition prohibits a sanctioned union. Their idyll is shattered by Ensley's arranged marriage to an heiress and by a sudden reversal of Anne's fortunes, which causes her to leave the London salon circuit and retire to an inherited farm-estate. Anne adjusts uneasily to the slow pace, applying her rapier wit to lampoons of the natives, which appear in the London Times. As a result, her Oxford-educated, silently admiring bachelor neighbor, Mr. Highet, has little trouble identifying himself as the parodied ""Mr. Mutton Slowtop, the idiot sheep farmer.'' In due course, the country gentleman's manly forbearance wins out over the London beau. The victory is detailed with wit and verve, qualities of Hill's earlier novels, which include The Stanbroke Girls and The Love Child. (December 21)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-21758-0
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