Reviews for Tavington's Heiress
Igenlode Wordsmith chapter 75 . 8/27/2017
And so I've finally run out of story on this one :-(

I can see why this was categorised as an 'epilogue': by about halfway through where it did start to feel like a list of births and babies, which brings it home how much I appreciated the long-running plot threads that kept up the pace and tension through the earlier 'domestic' scenes. Then came the moment when it suddenly dawned on Jane that "she had always put off being happy", and right there I felt was the whole point of the chapter...

So Tavington ends up with an inconveniently bookish heir - how difficult for him! I wonder where *that* particular talent came from?

I really enjoyed reading this novel without the slightest fandom knowledge and virtually none about the American War of Independence, with it simply considered as original historical fiction; I've said it before, but where the writing really scores is in its refusal to modernise and sanitise the characters' beliefs and biases. Every so often you realise that you're actually seeing the world through a Georgian perspective, with a different set of values taken absolutely for granted - good historical writing is like the best science fiction, in that it shows you another world from the inside.

As a romance, it's thoroughly convincing; I'm reminded of Georgette Heyer's observation in "A Civil Contract" that "men like to be comfortable". Tavington finds his wife satisfactorily comfortable to have around long before it dawns on him that he might have any romantic interest in her, and he doesn't connect her with any sexual impulses at all: those are a matter of opportunity and practicality with whoever is available (indeed, when they get mixed up in romance, as in the case of the unfortunate Kitty, things get very awkward). And "I love you dearly, but" as an exasperated aside rather than a trembling confession is very apt to the relationship we've seen from these two!

I still have a few back stories to catch up on, "Victory at Ostagar" being one. I shall be sorry when they're all over; I've very glad I discovered "The Prefect's Portrait" all those years ago.
Igenlode Wordsmith chapter 74 . 8/20/2017
That was certainly unexpected, in the final chapters!
But I did think it was risky to blackmail a King - and Tavington has certainly laid himself open to it, with all his agitations on behalf of the ill-treated colonial soldiers. Now he has to put his money where his mouth is, as it were... and at least he isn't actually in the war. Odd to have him going back to America and Jane staying in England, but I suppose New York is about as foreign as London anyway from her point of view...

I'm amused by her comment that she hopes he doesn't bring back any *more* illegitimate offspring for her to raise :-p
Igenlode Wordsmith chapter 71 . 8/15/2017
That was certainly *not* anything I suspected as the big reveal - amazed to learn that it was apparently based on fact, as well. (I had no idea that domesticated 'Farmer George' with his vast Hanoverian family had such a hinterland!)

Since this is the civilised eighteenth century, presumably the Crown will not attempt to execute the messenger in order to ensure that bad news is suppressed... but I can't help feeling that being in possession of this material is unlikely to do the family any favours with the Powers That Be, especially since Lady Cecily apparently purloined it for blackmail purposes in the first place :-(
It is proverbially best not to rely on the gratitude of Kings...

And of course the word 'patriot' is not one that holds pleasant associations for Tavington :-P
Igenlode Wordsmith chapter 68 . 7/19/2017
Ah, so Fanshawe does get a certain amount of redemption; I have to say I'm glad :-)
Igenlode Wordsmith chapter 67 . 7/16/2017
(Apparently I'm the only person - apart from the valet Collinet - who actually rather *liked* the cynical, self-interested Fanshawe, and was hoping he was going to redeem himself. Well, there's not going to be much chance of that...)

Contributing to a pregnant woman's death by regularly resorting to bleeding her is one thing (and sadly not unheard-of in that era), but physically tying a healthy woman down and simply draining out all her blood in a single night is pretty obviously murder, I'd have thought - I can't see how the de Veres can possibly hope to get away with this under the guise of medical treatment.

I liked the way Tavington ends up ruefully reflecting that he may end up having to flee the country in the fashion of a too-successful duellist if his *wife* ends up shooting people; an entertaining reversal of the sexes :-)
Igenlode Wordsmith chapter 60 . 4/19/2017
Still enjoying this story very much (one of the minor things I was impressed by was the way that we had an entire evening's ball in Ch56 in which *nothing went wrong*, and yet the account of it was still interesting - admittedly the unruffled entertainment was book-ended by a duel and a madwoman in Jane's bedchamber, but that's still an unusual achievement!)

I also like the way that Jane is busy planning a menial career for Molly's putative son in this chapter; it's always enjoyable to see a character behaving according to the natural assumptions of her own time, rather than being used as a mouthpiece for the author's views on the Equality of Man from a different century :-p

Lady Sarah is an entertaining oddity of the hounds-and-old-tweed type, anothe vividly-drawn member of a sprawling family - I hope we see more of her.

I can't help feeling sorry for Kitty here; she has come out of the whole affair much worse than Tavington, and his tactful handling looks suspiciously like cowardice. He has contrived to persuade her - inadvertently - that he is a figure in a shared tragic romance, whereas in fact he is simply tired of her and finds her an embarrassing reminder. There *is* no easy way out of this situation short of dishonour and bitter disillusionment, but he had no right to get her to fall in love with him in the first place...

The vanished nurse clearly murdered Lady Cecily, although whether she successfully absconded with the incriminating box is another matter. I'm a little surprised that Lady Cecily didn't use those papers herself, given how actively she encourages her sons in her will to deploy them?
Christine chapter 1 . 12/5/2016
Chère Madame, je viens vous donner ENFIN toute mon admiration pour votre talent d'écrivain. Je dis ENfin car J'en suis au chapitre 19, et je me régale de votre merveilleuse histoire à en perdre le sommeil..C'est tout simplement parfait !.
Etant française j'utilise la traduction internet. une vraie traduction mettrait encore plus en valeur votre texte extraordinaire.
Pour le plaisir, Je vais commencer à le faire et vous transmettrai le résultat en format pdf si vous avez un lien internet.
En tout cas merci de votre talent, et de nous faire partager cela.
Rainia NyteWolf chapter 75 . 10/28/2016
So sad to hear of your passing. Thank you for your stories and may you rest in peace
Igenlode Wordsmith chapter 35 . 6/26/2016
"William helped them urge their mounts into a trot, and showed them how to deal with the jolting gait" - they trot while riding side-saddle? I always understood that a lady's horse was taught to move directly from a walk into a slow canter specifically because the rider couldn't rise to the trot ...
KariLeanne chapter 75 . 6/14/2016
Rest in peace Susan. You will missed!
rosiegrad chapter 14 . 5/30/2016
So far so good!
Igenlode Wordsmith chapter 25 . 4/8/2016
I started reading this because I was trying to recommend some useful material to someone who wanted to write an AU fan-fiction set during the American war of independence, and noticed that some of your stories covered that period; I ended up reading onwards anyway in order to find out what happened to the characters. As with the "Dragon Age" stories, you've managed to get me interested in what is not only a canon I know nothing about (unsurprisingly, as the film got dire reviews and worse box-office in Britain) but in an AU version of that canon - an achievement that no other author on FFnet has managed once, let alone twice!

And it's refreshing to see a historical fiction that doesn't automatically assign its characters appropriately anachronistic social attitudes according to whether they are 'goodies' or 'baddies'; Our Heroine may feel affectionate and protective towards her slave servants, but that doesn't mean she is automatically delighted at the idea of having a slave as a *sister*. And her husband considers the occasional infidelity to be simply relieving her of his demands - of course it doesn't make the slightest difference to his relationship with an actual wife.

I did think the early chapters of this were a bit more mechanical and plot-driven than is usual in your later stories - it's not that it's badly written, but it feels less fluent and more contrived than I was used to. But it soon relaxes and feels more like a narrative arising naturally out of the characters and less like one where the author is trying too hard to move them around the board. And the gradually shifting relationships and perceptions are masterly.

The history, I'm afraid, is of a period of which I'm completely ignorant - we learn about the American revolution only in the form of an inconsiderate distraction from the real job of the British Army in defeating Napoleon - so my future view of this era of the Americas is likely to be influenced entirely by your depiction :-)
katiemarie090 chapter 11 . 1/21/2016
I'm re-reading this fic from the beginning for the third time since you published it. It's still just as wonderful as I remembered. But I thought I would point out that Samuel Johnson's quote about London wasn't published until 1791, in his biography written by James Boswell. It's one of my favorite quotes, though, and I think it's always appropriate for describing London.
Thomas Blaine chapter 75 . 7/9/2015
I'm afraid that I only just got around to reading your Tavington fics this last week, even though I've been enjoying your later HP and Dragon Age ones for years. I hadn't watched The Patriot and figured that "historical romance" just wouldn't interest me, and I'm sorry for being so silly.

Your characters and uniquely unhurried storytelling were as brilliant, interesting and engaging ten years ago as they are today. I'm probably supposed to say you've improved a lot, but the stories are very different and I'm no expert and I just can't say that your Patriot fanfics don't absolutely stand up to your current work - or at least your work of some months ago.

About Tavington's Heiress in particular, I love the ruthless attention to detail. You painted a very authentic picture of upper class life in Georgian London with highs and lows and injustices all included, and seeing characters I care about subjected to it drives home some of the differences between that time and ours in a way no naked description of the conditions ever has, at least for me.

Thank you, for lots and lots of superb reading material and food for thought.
Secretly-A-Fangirl chapter 22 . 2/5/2015
I love your story so far, all the details and notes you've put in it making more sense to me than some part of the movie did! I actually started crying when Biddy was killed and my dad gave me a weird look until I made him read the chapter. You're a great author, keep up the great work!
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