Having worked through this anthology systematically, it seemed sensible to have a page where each review can be linked to with maybe a small summary review of each piece.
This is that page.
The History of a Nun by Aphra Behn
A constant surprise and delight with a great ending.
The Secret History of Queen Zarah by Delrivier Manley (but not actually)
A little flat, not particularly sparkling characters but interesting to read after watching the film ‘The Favourite’.
Love Intrigues by Jane Barker
A well told story of miscommunicated love with a slightly disappointing ending.
The Adventures of the Count de Vinevil by Penelope Aubin
Racist, islamaphobic, all together icky and generally unpleasant which made in engaging in an anti-likeable way.
The British Recluse by Eliza Haywood
Well told brace of ‘rake’ stories which are good examples of their genre and don’t go on forever and have an empowering ending, unlike some (*cough* Clarissa *cough*).
Fantomina by Eliza Haywood
Utterly nutty and daft with a wonderfully batty story seen through to the bitter end. Best story here.
The Reformed Coquette by Mary Davys
Also wonderfully over the top, especially in terms of all the cartoony-sneaky rakes who want to abduct our heroine. Second best book here.
Extracts from Friendship in Death by Elizabeth Singer Rowe
Perhaps this makes sense in full better than as extracts, but letters from dead people to living, telling them all the secrets they’ve learned since they died, it’s rather strange.