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26.09.2013
Everything is coming up carnations in this national bestselling series Realizing romantic heroes are a thing of the past, graduate student Eloise Kelly is determined to focus on her work.
The Barnes & Noble ReviewLauren Willig hits the ground running in a highly entertaining debut novel that romps between centuries and offers a swashbuckling mix of romance, swordplay, espionage, and historical sleuthing. The French eventually unmasked the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian, famed spies in the Napoleonic wars, but as Harvard graduate student Eloise Kelly discovers at the start of this breezy historical romance, the identity of the Pink Carnation remains a mystery.
Eloise Kelly is in England chasing down leads for her dissertation and fleeing from the end of a disastrous relationship. A sexy, smirking, determined-to-charm historical-romance debut takes on English-French espionage in Napoleonic Paris.
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Her first stop: England, to finish her dissertation on the English spies of the Napoleonic Wars, like the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. It starts with Eloise Kelly, an American graduate student determined to study abroad and solve the mystery of the Pink Carnation, the successor to the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian.
Working in London on her history dissertation, Eloise gets access to a trunk of papers and documents from the early 19th century.
While looking for information on the espionage of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian, she discovers a third less-well-known spy, the Pink Carnation. Newcomer Willig makes good use of an Ivy League education heavy on Shakespeare and Hugo as she follows young American Eloise Kelly to London to concoct a juicy graduate dissertation: a thesis created out of the escapades of a famously obscure English spy at the turn of the 19th century, the Pink Carnation.
Again.I clutched the overhead rail by dint of standing on the tippiest bit of my tippy toes.
But her greatest conquest is to reveal the most elusive spy of them all, the dashing Pink Carnation.
A chance discovery of the Selwick family archives launches her into the middle of a true story in 1803, where two spirited cousins, Amy and Jane, resolve to return to France to join forces with the Purple Gentian and spy for Britain against Napoleon.
She dives into this treasure trove, and suddenly the reader is plunged into a novel within a novel, told from the viewpoint of Amy Balcourt.


Eloise decides to do additional research and stumbles on a cache of papers owned by the Selwick family that may shed light on the Carnation's identity.
An offshoot of the Scarlet Pimpernel and his cohort the so-called Purple Gentian, who aided French aristocrats to elude the guillotine, the Pink Carnation may be related to the Selwick family, whose descendants Eloise seeks out on a rainy day in London. As it turns out, they are accompanied to Calais by the real Purple Gentian, and complications, disguises, romance, and danger ensue. Amy, exiled to rural England with her mother, now wants to avenge, with the help of her cousin Jane, her father's death at the hands of the French. A Frenchman, judging from the black turtleneck and the fact that his armpit was a deodorant-free zone.
She hopes to be in league with the Scarlet Pimpernel, who heroically tried to save her father. Eloise's tale serves as the backdrop to the story of half-English, half-French Amy Balcourt, who returns to France to avenge her father, executed during the Revolution.
Arabella Selwick-Alderly, not only invites poised, well-spoken Eloise into her home, but allows her access to a large trunk of letters for an all-night read. Willig, a Harvard graduate student herself, does a good job painting a picture of the tumultuous era. Thus the account of feisty English schoolgirl Amy Balcourt comes to view as Amy relates her decisive trip to Paris in 1803 to regain her rightful place next to her brother Edouard after the murder of their French aristocrat father 15 years earlier. But the Tube was packed solid, full of tired, cranky Londoners on their way home from work.
She also makes the sparks fly between Amy and the Purple Gentian, a dashing English nobleman in charge of Egyptian antiquities for Bonaparte.
But when the Pink Carnation's identity is finally revealed after many obvious clues, the reader wonders why it took Eloise so long to get it. The repartee sparkles from then on, as the Hepburn-Tracy pair engage wits and try to outspy each other.
Both are loyally committed to foiling the Emperor's plans to invade England and to keeping the Gentian's identity hidden from villainous Assistant Minister of Police, GastonDelaroche.


The plot, while intentionally contrived (naturally, Eloise also finds a suitable opponent in attractive Selwick scion Colin), still manages to compel, and romance conventions like Amy's "kissable indentations over the collarbones" are well observed, all in relentlessly effervescent prose.
The other reason I was playing sardines on the Tube in London, rather than happily spooling through microfilm in the basement of Widener.I ended it with him. Finding him in the cloakroom of the Faculty Club at the history department Christmas party in a passionate embrace with a giggly art historian fresh out of undergrad did have something to do with it, so I couldn’t claim he was entirely without a part in the breakup. The very music of their names invoked a forgotten era, an era of men in knee breeches and frock coats who dueled with witty barbs sharper than the points of their swords. They had retired to their estates in England to raise precocious children and tell long stories of their days in France over their postdinner port. I knew the identities of Sir Percy Blakeney and Lord Richard Selwick—in fact, there was a sizable correspondence between those two men.
Surely, there would be something in their papers, some slip of the pen that would lead me to the Pink Carnation.But there was nothing in the archives. I’d even trekked out to the sprawling Public Record Office in Kew, hauling myself and my laptop through the locker rooms and bag searches to get to the early nineteenth-century records of the War Office.
I sat on the floor of Waterstones, with a copy of Debrett’s Peerage open in my lap, and wrote letters to all the surviving descendants of Sir Percy Blakeney and Lord Richard Selwick.
He sent a letter typed on crested stationery designed to intimidate, informing me that Selwick Hall was still a private home, it was not open to the public in any capacity, and any papers the family intended for the public to view were in the British Library.
The brown suede Jimmy Choo boots that had looked so chic in the shoe store in Harvard Square were beyond repair, matted with rain and mud.
My knee-length herringbone skirt had somehow twisted itself all the way around, so that the zipper stuck out stiffly in front instead of lying flat in back.



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Comments to «The secret history of the pink carnation free online»

  1. 34 writes:
    Could also be for a spiritual purpose.
  2. shekerim writes:
    The Guiding Lecturers at the Perception Meditation.
  3. bakinskiy_paren writes:
    Merely seeks to make you conscious of your emotions, as a way to see who agreed.
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