Welcome to London in 1794 where you will meet four fathers who are bent on finding suitable husbands, preferably with titles, for their marriageable daughters. The men hatch a plan to obtain a pianoforte with the idea of having the girls learn to play well enough to give a concert and thus attract a bevy of acceptable suitors.
The plan goes array when the instrument’s creator resents how his creation is going to be used and finds a music instructor who he charges with a different mission. He wants the teacher to seduce the girls so that their fathers’ intentions are never realized since the girls will be considered “damaged goods”!
Making it even more interesting is that the girls have their own idea of how this course of action should unfold plus some of them have already “experience” in the area of physical relationships.
This wicked romp through Georgian London, Italian piano making and the hypocrisy of upper class values runs the gamut from a semi-humorous farce to a very dark commentary on society. There are numerous seduction scenes but combined with musical instruction they are not as explicit as some would imagine.
On the other hand, this cast of flawed but fascinating characters with a surfeit of carnal appetites will elicit a full range of both negative and positive responses from readers.
One reviewer in the United Kingdom likened this volume as being similar to reading “Jane Austen on crack cocaine”. That’s not too far off the mark!
The setting: London, 1794.
The problem: Four nouveau riche fathers with five marriageable daughters.
The plan: Give the young women piano lessons. Present them at a concert performance for young Englishmen with titles but no fortunes. Marry off the daughters-very well, indeed.
The complications: The lascivious (and French) piano teacher; the piano maker's jealous (and musically gifted) daughter; marriageable daughters with mating plans of their own.
While it might be a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a title and no money must be in want of a fortune, what does a sexually awakened young woman want? In her wickedly alluring romp through late-Georgian London, Italian piano-making, and tightly fitted polonaise gowns, Katharine Grant has written a startling and provocative debut.