Read It Began in Vauxhall by Jean Plaidy Online


The fictionalized account of one of 19th-century England's most notorious scandals, by one of Britain's premier historical novelists. In this story, so full of excitement and mystery that it would seem incredible fiction if it were not based on real life, Jean Plaidy has created a fascinating portrait of one woman's tragic life....

Title : It Began in Vauxhall
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780399136009
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 318 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

It Began in Vauxhall Reviews

  • Margaret
    2018-12-04 17:32

    The Story (taken from the inside flap of the book, because I couldn't put it better myself) Melisande, the outcome of an illicit affair, was brought by her conscience-stricken father to his mansion from the convent where she had spent her early years. There she attracted the notice of the rake Fermor and, to escape his ardent pursuit, she accepted the attentions of a young Frenchman, Leon de la Roche. Tragedy separated them and Melisande sought refuge in the establishment of Fenella, society dressmaker; however, she was soon determined to escape. But in no place could she find safety. And eventually, in the house of Mrs. Lavender, her life reached its climax, and events led her to the day when she stood trial for her life.The Good One of the best Plaidys I've read so far, the story is both moving and involving. Plaidy can introduce over a dozen characters without making it seem too many. She brings each one to life, even as some of them are so outlandish you wonder if they could ever have existed (the story is based on a true happening). At each new twist in the plot, I could honestly say I didn't see it coming, at least not quite in that way. Plaidy also has a gift for evocative description of landscape and food- the bit on Mrs. Soady, the cook at the Cornish manor, made me crave pies for days.The BadThere isn't much wrong with this: it's a perfect potboiler. Maybe it's a tad sentimental, and the happyish ending doesn't quite ring true.Historical AccuracyI'm a bit torn on this. The details seem fine, but there are some things- Fenella and her establishment, for instance- which are convenient plot devices and just don't sound plausible.This book also goes by the title "Melisande'.

  • Sara G
    2018-11-24 21:36

    This is a classic, but it took me a while to read because half of the characters made me cringe. Supposedly it's based on a true story, but I'm not sure which one. The heroine is clearly too stupid to live, but she actually has an excuse for that (grew up in a convent), but she continually makes stupid choices throughout the book which make it end in a tragedy. I like Jean Plaidy's writing style, but this book was just too unbelievable. I give it 3 stars because it was good enough that I wanted to finish it to see the ending, even if it was more like an instinct to want to turn and look at a car crash.

  • Sol Misolmi
    2018-12-06 23:57

    Interesantes todos los detalles que da sobre la cultura córnica, comidas, danzas, celebraciones y costumbres. El final fue inesperado, lo que es mucho decir para un libro de Victoria Holt (al ver el seudónimo de Jean Plaidy pensé que se trataría de historia novelada). En algunos sentidos, un poco menos edulcorado que otros de la misma autora.

  • Bunnys
    2018-11-25 19:50

    As usual with V. Holt, easy read. Entertaining book. Supposedly, this is a historical novel but I can't figure out whose story it is. Pretty tragic story and I think she overreacted to the "threats" of the various men in her life but she was only a 16-year-old former incarcerate of a convent, so I guess it's plausible.

  • Pat
    2018-11-10 16:36

    There were few choices for women in the 19th Century. The characters in Mlisande's life illustrate those opportunities and the uncertainty of a happy outcome. Interesting character development by placing Melisande against those choices.

  • Christine
    2018-11-13 23:30

    What a great English romance with tragedy to spice-up the framework! It was a breath of fresh air from deep subjects... you need to break it up sometimes-know what I mean? Really cute, fast read.

  • Phil Syphe
    2018-11-17 23:44

    Apart from a few dull passages here and there, this novel impressed me overall.The opening chapters are a little slow, yet once the story gets going, the plot has many twists and turns, which kept me interested. Love the main character, Melisande, and the author does a good job in making me sympathise for this good-natured beauty.But it’s her good nature and especially her beauty that land her in scrapes with besotted men and jealous women.There are many intense scenes, but also a lot of funny moments. Ms Plaidy isn’t know as a humourist, though she does tend to create comedy out of old supersitions. The quote below is an example of this. It features a servant called Peg visiting an old woman who’s considered to be a white witch:>Peg said breathlessly: "Oh, Mrs. Soady did say she have a stye coming and what should shedo?""Tell her to touch it with the tail of a cat.""And Mr. Meaker be feared his asthma's coming back.""Let him collect spiders' webs, roll them in his hands and swallow them."<This next quote is among the funniest I’ve read by this author. It’s a scene were a middle-aged woman is talking to her friend, despite the content not appearing too friendly:>"Be silent, you ugly old woman. What do you know of such things? How could you be gentleman in search of virility! And let me tell you no amount of lotions would be of any use to you; and what would be the good of knocking years off your age! You were as repulsive at fourteen as you are at forty. As for a night in my magic bed—who in their right senses would want to perpetuate you?"<The same character also had these pearls of wisdom to share:“Wedlock is a hard-pinching boot, but fornication is an easy shoe.”I like this type of dry comedy. It’s not meant to be funny on the characters’ part, which is what makes it all the more amusing.The ending is different to any other I’ve read by this author. It blends happiness and pathos, hope and despair, purpose and uncertainty. As a result, I like it and I don’t.