Book Review of
The Lady and the Highwayman
Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls school in 1865s Victorian London. She is also a well-respected author of silver-fork novels, stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories–the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Charles King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats, intelligent detectives solving grisly murders, and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks.
Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Charles King started taking all of his readers. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher s fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the social and political causes of their working-class readers. The group knows King could be an asset with his obvious monetary success, or he could be the group s undoing as King s readership continues to cut into their profits.
Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow-author, she is well-known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King s whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered. What neither author anticipated was the instant attraction, even though their social positions dictate the impossibility of a relationship.
The Lady and The Highwayman book has been in my TBR pile since last fall. I finally picked it up recently when I needed a lighter read. The Lady and The Highwayman is considered a proper romance book. It is romance without the graphic details.
This book is about two authors during the Victorian age. In many ways, they are the same, but in many ways they are also different. She is the headmistress of a school, who is not only an author of novels for the upper class, but also writes stories for the working class under a pseudonym. He was a sea urchin who also became a successful writer, but he uses his money to fight for the working class and for children.
This book was a fun read that included romance and mystery. I thought the author’s writing was very creative in this one. It wasn’t your typical cheesy proper romance read.