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Lady's Maid: An Historical Novel (original 1990; edition 1991)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345497430, Paperback)“Fascinating . . . The reader is treated to a revealing account of the passionate romance between Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning through the eyes of an intimate observer.”
Young and timid but full of sturdy good sense and awakening sophistication, Lily Wilson arrives in London in 1844, becoming a lady’s maid to the fragile, housebound Elizabeth Barrett. Lily is quickly drawn to her mistress’s gaiety and sharp intelligence, the power of her poetry, and her deep emotional need. It is a strange intimacy that will last sixteen years.
It is Lily who smuggles Miss Barrett out of the gloomy Wimpole Street house, witnesses her secret wedding to Robert Browning in an empty church, and flees with them to threadbare lodgings and the heat, light, and colors of Italy. As housekeeper, nursemaid, companion, and confidante, Lily is with Elizabeth in every crisis–birth, bereavement, travel, literary triumph. As her devotion turns almost to obsession, Lily forgets her own fleeting loneliness. But when Lily’s own affairs take a dramatic turn, she comes to expect the loyalty from Elizabeth that she herself has always given.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:21 -0400)
London 1844, and a shy young woman has arrived to take up a new situation in the grandeur of No. 50, Wimpole Street. Subtly and compellingly, 'Lady's Maid' gives voice to Elizabeth Wilson's untold story, her complex relationship with her mistress, Elizabeth Barrett, and her dramatic role in the most famous elopement in history.
(summary from another edition)
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