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WILDISH: A Story Concerning Different Kinds of Love Kindle Edition
England 1745. Poet and Master Wig-Maker to the great and the good of London society, Wildish is a man whose ambition is to enjoy life to the full. Yet already events beyond his control have begun to impinge upon his dissolute life. The heart of the nation is beating to the drums of war, and thousands of vengeful Jacobite soldiers from Scotland and France are about to converge upon the capital.
There is also the presence of Johanna: mysterious, enigmatic and vulnerable, a woman unlike any other he has ever known, and the inconvenient and yet increasingly agreeable sensation that he might be falling in love for the very first time.
A magical journey into the outrageous world of Georgian England where reality and fantasy, romance and the occult combine in a comedy of epic intensity and poetic beauty.
From the Publisher
Epic, romantic comedy set in the fabulous, outrageous world of 18th-century Georgian England
WILDISH - historical fiction at its sparkling best
WILDISH refers to the surname of the main protagonist of the story. It takes place at the time of the 2nd Jacobite Rebellion (1745), and is centred around a love triangle incorporating themes of romantic and platonic love. But there are also a number of other individuals who inadvertently guide our unlikely hero, Mr Wildish, upon his quest to understand the nature of love in all its forms. And it is quite a tempestuous journey. Historical locations include:
- London's Cheapside, Covent Garden, Fleet Street and the Strand
- Southwark and Greenwich
- Westminster & St James Palace
- Ranelagh Gardens
- The Scottish Highlands
The characters are fictitious, though there are some significant cameo appearances from King George II, and Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie).
Some elements of the cover design and their relevance to the story
Westminster Abbey and the buildings of Whitehall as viewed from the east side of London's river Thames.
You can still visit the spot today, though the view is much different due to the more recent Victorian Houses of Parliament, which now obscure many of the older buildings.
The Thames was a busy commercial route in Georgian times. It was also a place where you could sometimes glimpse the magnificent royal barge, especially during festivities and ceremonial occasions.
Additional vessels might even provide a platform for an orchestra. Handel’s famous Water Music suite, for instance, was first performed on the Thames in 1777 with the King in attendance.
Though not as spectacular or colourful as today’s fireworks, the Georgian art of pyrotechnics was of a pretty high standard.
The scene here is of the evening of the first performance in 1749 of Handel’s Music for Royal Fireworks – staged in Green Park, just behind Whitehall and from where the fireworks would have been visible (and certainly audible) from the river.
Although the event itself was marred somewhat by a fire and some disorder among the crowd, the music itself was well received and remains to this day a great favourite.
The Masquerade was a popular and sometimes raucous social event in Georgian times. Gatherings were regulated by accepted customs to keep some semblance of order, and the wearing of carnival masks was expected - a convenient pretext for all manner of flirtation and confusion.
Masks could be quite elaborate and beautifully crafted and sometimes also symbolic of the inner self and fantasy-world of the wearer. This poses the question: Does the mask serve to disguise or to reveal the true person beneath? And how often are we mistaken in accepting the fantasy as reality?
Wordsplash! A flavour of the novel in quotes taken directly from the pages
Extract - Johanna's contribution to an evening of story-telling
Once satisfied that the mood in the room is sufficiently calmed, she smoothes her dress, sits up in her nest of cushions and takes a deep breath. ‘Well, once upon a time,’ she begins in a voice which is calm and soothing, ‘there was a jackdaw who was troubled and went to his friend, the wise old owl, and asked him why it should be that birds live such short lives compared to so many other creatures. The owl explained it is because birds can fly, and such immeasurable joy has only been given to birds in exchange for a relatively brief mortality. Well, the jackdaw went away and thought about that. He reasoned that although it was good fun flying, he would rather prefer to live longer, and the best way to achieve this would be to embark upon a regime of abstinence and careful living, choosing to take special care of his diet and not to go tiring himself or over-extending himself in the flying department. At first, he felt very satisfied with his progress, but after a while he began to notice that his little wings had begun to atrophy and that he could not really fly very much at all any longer. Then one day, watching all the young birds flying about and, in the spring, mating and having young, all without a care, he suddenly became aware of what he was missing. He felt sad. He did not live an especially healthy life either, and not long after, when he realised he was dying, he returned to the wise owl and asked him what happened to the deal? “Goodness! No one said there was any deal”, the owl replied. “That was merely your false reasoning. You cannot trade with God, foolish jackdaw. You have wasted your life, and not spread your wings and flown as you should”. And that was the end of the Jackdaw, and it is the end of this story. And the moral of it all is … well, enjoy the magic that is given to you, since it is magical indeed, our time we have on this earth, and it lasts only for a short while in which we must seize a-hold of it according to our nature and make it our own.’
From Chapter 20. ELEMENTS OF CHOICE AND TEMPTATION
Lady S. - on dressing mostly in black
‘Age naturally inhibits the use of colour, Matthew,’ she interrupts with confidence. ‘And then, of course, black is infinitely preferable to white. At least with black one appears to possess a certain finesse. With white, one merely becomes a grotesque testimony to all the excesses of red wine and chocolate.
Robert Stephen Parry is a UK writer of adult historical fiction, bringing you stories from a wide range of time periods - from Tudor & Elizabethan, through 18th-century Georgian, right up to the era of Victorian England and the Belle Époque. Well researched and vivid historical settings combine with unusual elements of mystery, romance and magical realism.
On a lighter note, he has also collaborated recently with the distinguished avian writer, A.Robin, Esq. in providing the illustrations for the book 'The Magnificent British Garden Robin'.
- ASIN : B00BVT4ANC
- Language : English
- File size : 3158 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 602 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : B099173PKW
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Top reviews from other countries
Matthew Wildish, our main character, is a poet on a mission - a mission to find love that transcends the real world. He is surrounded by women but comes to have feelings for his best friend's wife, something which gave me pause. In the meantime, he continues his career as a wigmaker. He often finds himself in amusing but tricky situations.
The middle part of the story was really when I stopped reading - there's a lot of history, which was interesting, but I struggled with the plot which I felt wasn't going anywhere and I struggled with the lack of storyline moving along. The book is shocking at times, but because of that, it helps you to keep going with the parts that feel like they are dragging.