books > patronage
608pp B-format paperback
by maria edgeworth
Regency family values by Jane Austen’s greatest rival.
Meet the Percys and Falconers, neighbouring families, each with three sons and two daughters to launch into Regency society. The hardworking, independently minded and dutiful Percys are happy to work their way up in the world but are undermined by their scheming rivals who use Patronage to grab at instant fame and fortune.
With their sons eased into lucrative but ill-suited diplomatic and clerical jobs, and their daughters bankrupting themselves to scale the heights of fashion, the Falconers are heading for a tumble; while the moral steadiness and strong family ties of the Percys allow them to attain both the heights of their chosen professions and a glittering match.
A Regency bestseller with a clear message for our times.
The book is introduced by John Mullan, Professor of English at UCL. He hosts the Guardian Book Club, and contributes regularly to Newsnight Review, LRB and New Statesman.
“No one can fail to be interested in what Maria Edgeworth shows us of the conflicting pressures on women of her day.” MAGGIE GEE