Book pak BBC Audiobooks America/ Chivers 2002
CS ISBN 0754009238 $84.95 Ten cassettes
Du Maurier's great-great-grandmother, Mary Anne Clarke, was mistress to the Duke of York during the Napoleonic Wars. In a sometimes cumbersome combination of fact and fiction, du Maurier chronicles the rags-to-riches tale of her bright, ambitious, amoral ancestor, who, overwhelmed by youthful passion, marries at 16. After her husband drinks himself into insensibility and is institutionalized, she passes as a widow, attracting the attention of the duke. Carole Boyd creates an appealing, headstrong Mary Anne. Her attitude is whimsical, often mischievous, as the young woman recognizes her taste for luxury and power. In intimate tones, she reveals the skilled courtesan who finally overreaches herself. However, in the sections recreating the House of Commons investigation into the duke's activities, not even Boyd's performance can keep things from bogging down. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/MAY 03]
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