Maid of Buttermere

Melvyn Bragg, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-399-13225-4
Bragg, the author of 15 previous books, has here combined fact and fiction to produce a remarkable tour-de-force, a penetrating psychological novel based on an actual court case of 1802. John Hatfield, ex-convict, forger and bigamist, decides to improve his fortune by impersonating Colonel Alexander Augustus Hope, a member of Parliament and brother of the Earl of Hopetoun. He sets out in a methodical fashion to seduce a young heiress and elope with her, thereby laying claim to her fortune. But while courting his intended victim in the Lake District, Hatfield falls in love with Mary Robinson, a local beauty, and marries her. Exposed as an imposter by a suspicious colonel, Hatfield flees. The Bow Street Runners are sent after him and the chase is on. Hatfield-Hope is gradually revealed as a man who is at once a pathological liar, a religious mystic and a philanderer with a huge sexual appetite, whose unflagging devotion to ""his Mary'' is oddly touching. (May 18)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-340-42373-8
Hardcover - 416 pages - 978-0-340-40173-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-85695-565-2
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-84894-258-5
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