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The Rules of Gentility by Janet Mullany

The Rules of Gentility

by Janet Mullany

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Yet another lack luster Regency romance. I don't know why I persist in reading these. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
* Sigh. No. And again, no. The Rules of Gentility is supposedly a regency romance spoof. Supposedly lots of people like it and found it entertaining. I didn’t.

The story line is familiar, as it is meant to be: a young woman of slightly inferior birth, but with a very handsome dowry has come to London to catch a husband. She’s silly, vapid, and agonizingly stupid. She has a decent heart to her, I suppose, but that hardly makes up for the rest of the reasons not to like her or at the very least, not to care about her.

Naturally, young rake of impecable family line, but second son--so no money, comes along and is attracted to her vapidness. They’re thrown together, have a little dandling on the water closet, and he takes her to visit a high class whore house, along with his sister and a girl who tries to eat her weight in sea food and of course, they are welcomed and the whore ready to get it on with all four. Um, no. Young rake meets older rake. Young rake leaves the scene overwhelmed by his strange desire to put aside his rake, maybe leave it in the shed. Old rake moves in and she engages herself to him. Young rake rescues her in the nick of time. They live happily and hornily ever after. The end. (Oh and don’t forget about the ex-mistress and his wee bastard child living happily down the lane, or the night they all platonically, share a bed).

It’s too much for me–with nothing tying any of the events together.

For being as shallow as this book is, it certainly took far longer to read it than it should have. I attribute that to its being written in first person–of more than one person. I was forever going back to see, wait, what? Oh, he’s thinking again. Got it.

I’ve only read a handful of regency fics that are not an austen or austen-derivative, so I don’t know the “formula” as well as some other reviews seem to imply would increase my enjoyment of this story.

I disliked The Rules of Gentility. I realize that it’s billed as a spoof, but in my mind there is a difference between making fun of a format/model and just a very poor story. Maybe I missed something. Maybe I was in a pissy mood when I read it and therefore, less likely to be entertained. But blech. The writing isn’t bad. I realize that the whole purpose was to make the contrived plotline pop so we could all giggle at it thinking of the “serious” books this one is supposed to gently poke fun at. But the contrivance was too contrived, or maybe just way too underdeveloped. I often found myself wondering, well what happened to this or that or so and so–who never made another appearance or we never got an explanation. The whole thing felt like parts of the book were missing.

Just skip it… there’s no caveat of “but read it if you like…” Nope. Just pass. There, I’ve just saved you 4-5 hours of your life. Can I have my 4-5 hours back please? ( )
  mullgirl | Jun 8, 2015 |
A friend dared me to read this after her, knowing how much I hate Georgette Heyer and other Regency novels of that ilk, so I did. And I actually quite enjoyed the experience - well done, Janet Mullany! While following the traditional formula of fluffy romances - young miss, unsuitable suitor, eccentric family - the narrative is naughtier and the characters livelier and more entertaining than in Heyer's books. Not to be taken seriously, The Rules of Gentility is dirty parody with an indulgent sense of humour, gently poking fun at the sub-genre that will not die. ( )
1 vote AdonisGuilfoyle | Jul 9, 2013 |
This was fun with a capital "F". The author categorizes this book as a "Raucous Regency" and that is a good term to describe this one. This book pokes fun at every aspect of social propriety of that deliciously madcap Regency era. Inigo is a dastardly rake from a good family of the ton. He does have some morals - go figure! - and Philomena is a first rate naive ninny of a wealthy family whose fortune is derived from Trade (they own coal mines) - not to be confused with those Wellesleys (you know, Battle of Waterloo and all that). What starts out as an engagement of convenience becomes... well, you will just have to read the book to find out for yourself.

This is a fun, romping laugh at the Regency period as much as it is a tribute to it. The characters are hilarious, as are the situations that arise. The story is based on the rather standard insipid romance formula but it is considerably brightened by the banter and thoughts that seem more perfect for our time period than the Regency period of the story, even if Philomena's hormones seem to be a bit on overdrive mode most of the time. With the family she has - her mother, the queen of 'run on' sentences, those ubiquitous and unnerving twins Charlotte and Lydia and that baffling long time family maid Hen - some form of release is to be expected! I really liked how Mullany chose to tell the story through the alternating viewpoint of both of our romantic leads... all the better to present the folly that miscommunication and innocent flirting can bring about in the other party!

It is obvious that the author had fun writing this one and it should be treated as the darling bit of escapism fluff reading it is meant to be. ( )
2 vote lkernagh | Jun 19, 2013 |
An entertaining read. The characters were fun (I'm convinced that Philomena is an ancestor of Lovelace's Betsy Ray, given her penchant for lists), and the plot incidents were amusingly over-the-top. A plot turn towards the end of the book didn't mesh well with the tone for me, but overall it was a good romp.

(I kept thinking of Herendeen's Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander while reading this; no, the setup is not remotely similar, but the humor is akin.) ( )
  castiron | May 10, 2013 |
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To Alison Hill - Chickiebaby, this one's for you. With love, yo mama.
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman of fortune and passable good looks amuses herself in London with fashion, philanthropic works, and flirtation, until a suitable gentleman makes an offer.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061229830, Paperback)

Regency heiress Philomena Wellesley-Clegg has rather strong opinions about men and clothing. As to the former, so far two lords, a viscount, and a mad poet have fallen far short of her expectations. But she is about to meet Inigo Linsley, an unshaven, wickedly handsome man with a scandalous secret. He's nothing she ever dreamed she'd want—why then can she not stop thinking about how he looks in his breeches?

A delightful marriage of Pride and Prejudice with Bridget Jones's Diary, Janet Mullany's The Rules of Gentility transports us to the days before designer shoes, apple martinis, and speed dating—when great bonnets, punch at Almack's, and the marriage mart were in fashion—and captivates us with a winsome heroine who learns that some rules in society are made to be broken.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:34 -0400)

Miss Philomena Wellesley-Clegg distracts herself from her dwindling list of suitors (those still in the running include a wimpy poet and a dandy with a wandering eye) by shopping for bonnets and gossiping with her married best friend. But when her path crosses with Inigo Linsley, her best friend's rascally brother-in-law, Philly warms to him, even if his kisses make her feel very peculiar indeed. When Inigo proposes a sham engagement to ward off her doofy suitors, she agrees but only until the end of the social season. In turn, Inigo trusts Philly with the secret of his out-of-wedlock son and the friendship of his former lover, an actress. But some ungentlemanly conduct in a carriage sends Philly on the hunt for a more proper man.… (more)

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