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Old 04-17-2012, 02:58 AM   #1
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Weyman, Stanley J.: Sophia: A Romance 17 April 2012

Stanley John Weyman was born at Ludlow in Shropshire in 1855, the second son of a solicitor. He went to Shrewsbury School, then to Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1877 with a degree in history. With this degree he was not able to make much of a living for himself and prospects were discouraging. He was called to the Bar in 1881 and practiced law for "eight wretched years" never making more than two hundred pounds in any given year, and frequently angering judges with his nervous incompetence in court.

Novelist and Cornhill Magazine editor James Payn convinced him to undertake fiction. Weyman began publishing in 1883 with his short 'The Story of a Courtship' for The English Illustrated Magazine. But not until his first novel 'The House of the Wolf', set in 16th Century France, was he catapulted to fame. From 1890 onwards he was the lion of a very special and elegant literary form. His best books, including 'From the Memoirs of a Minister of France' (1893), 'A Gentleman of France' (1893), 'Under the Red Robe' (1894) and 'The Red Cockade' (1895) are all but without parallel in excellence. He died in 1928.

Sophia was published in 1900, and is set in 18th century London and Sussex, the period of the hoop, the patch, the coffeehouses, and the sedan-chair. A contemporary critic wrote, "The gem of the book is its description of the long coach-ride made by Sophia to Sir Hervey's home in Sussex, the attempt made by highwaymen to rob her, and her adventures at the paved ford and in the house made silent by smallpox where she took refuge." It is a fascinating counterpoint to Weyman's swashbucklers as it places a woman centre stage.

As always please let me know of any errors so I can fix them.

PS I forgot to include in the heading that the book is illustrated
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:42 AM   #2
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:36 AM   #3
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PS I'd really appreciate some feedback on how it works on a Kindle Touch - I presume you'll have to convert it to KF8/azw3 with calibre.

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