27 January 2013

Book Review: Wild Romance

Wild Romance
Blurb on the Back: In 1852, on a steamer from France to England, nineteen-year-old Theresa Longworth met William Charles Yelverton, a soldier destined to become the Viscount of Avonmore. Their flirtation soon blossomed into a clandestine, epistolary affair, and five years later they married secretly in Edinburgh. Then, that same summer, they married again in Dublin – or did they?

 

Seperated by circumstance soon after they were wed, Theresa and Charles would never live together as husband and wife. And when Yelverton married another woman, an abandoned Theresa found herself forced to prove the validity or her marriage. Multiple trials ensued, and the press and the public seized upon the scandal. Wild Romance is the inspiring tale of a woman who never gave up, and who help on to her ideals of independence, dignity and – despite everything – love.

 

My Thoughts: A while ago I complained that I didn’t read the blurbs on books thoroughly enough and that I should endeavour to do so just so I know what I’m getting into. I forgot about that deal. I had absolutely no idea that the book I was buying was based on real life events; it wasn’t until I googled the names of these people, after reading the preface, that I realised that these people were indeed real and these events really did take place.

 

I really got into this book. I really enjoyed learning about the events and learning about these people. However, I think part of my strength in being able to read this book in its entirely comes from having to read various ethnographies for University subjects. It is very dense in facts and information and it also doesn’t really direct you in terms of who you should side with or why. It’s one of those vague situations where you’re given the facts and you have to make up your own mind.

That being said, I changed my mind multiple times during the book. I felt like Theresa was a bit of a stalker and Charles would have been better off not writing to her and getting some form of a restraining order. There were other times where I thought Charles was playing games with Theresa and he knew it, but she was young, na├»ve and didn’t really have those role models to teach her any better.

And then there were times when I thought they were both idiots.

I think Theresa’s story is a sad one. I think she was horribly misguided and led on by this guy, but it was by her own doing. She tries to present herself as this smart individual, but I feel like it wasn’t without it’s shortcomings. I feel like if she hadn’t gotten caught up with Charles, she would have done quite well for herself and potentially made an impact in terms of Women’s rights but I also feel like she was one of those girls who was smart enough to achieve a lot, but just couldn’t really be bothered.

She tries to escape this public acknowledgement of her being the victim but she also seems to thrive off of it. I don’t know, but she came across as a walking contradiction really.

It’s a good story nevertheless. I liked learning about these issues and thinking about how different the times are compared to back in the 1800’s. But a lot of patience is needed to read this book, there isn’t much a climax and after the trials, the book becomes a bit dragged out. I can see why and I can understand why, but I guess that’s just life, that’s Theresa’s life anyway.

 

It’s a good book, it really is interesting and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I got into reading it.

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