Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Reissue of Miss Verey’s Proposal


It seems very appropriate that with the cold and frosty weather we are having here in the UK, my January book, Miss Verey's Proposal, should feature the legend of The Eve of St Agnes. As I am writing this it is snowing outside and everything looks extremely pretty!

Miss Verey’s Proposal was originally published in 2000 and is a traditional Regency and something of a romp! I love it because it is fun and light-hearted as well as very sweet and romantic. Harlequin Mills & Boon have reissued it as part of the Regency Lords and Ladies Collection and it is in the shops this month as well as available from Amazon and the Mills & Boon website.

The inspiration for the book came from the poem “The Eve of St Agnes” by John Keats. St Agnes’s Eve is 20th January and the legend states that if a young girl goes to bed without her supper on that night she will dream of her future husband. In the story Jane Verey and her friend Sophia both decide to try this out but Jane goes one step better than mere dreams – she actually sees him!

I love John Keats’s poetry and the Eve of St Agnes in particular is very evocative. Anyone enduring the current cold spell in the UK or elsewhere in the world will be able to identify with this:

"St. Agnes' Eve--Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
Numb were the Beadsman's fingers, while he told
His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seem'd taking flight for heaven…"

The poem makes a wonderful contrast of the cold outside with all the bright, warm celebrations taking place in the medieval hall of the manor house. It’s a hugely romantic poem and conjured up for me a wonderful picture of the two girls creeping off to bed hoping to have romantic dreams of their future husbands!

I am offering a copy of the book as my website prize this month. A happy (and warm!) New Year, everyone!

Nicola Cornick

6 comments:

Melinda Hammond said...

Wonderfully apt, Nicola! We have a blanke of snow here and it has been bitter cold, so I shivered as I read your poem! The new book sounds great - might even try the competition......

Jan Jones said...

Pshaw, I've had that book for years! Was very good, as I recall :)

We too have snow...

Nicola Cornick said...

Thanks, Melinda, thanks, Jan. I think we're all shivering a bit at the moment! Time to curl up in the warm with a good book!

Monica Fairview said...

I love that poem! It's so evocative. How lovely that it inspired you to write a romance!
I didn't read the novel the first time round, but I'll definitely be getting a copy!

Joanna Maitland said...

I'd forgotten that poem, Nicola. Thanks for reminding me of just how evocative good poetry can be. Really does make the reader shiver.

You've pinpointed the best thing about Regency Lords & Ladies, Monica. If you missed a great book, you can find it second time round. And I agree with Jan, Miss Verey's Proposal was very good. I have it still...

And (shameless promo here) for anyone who missed my Rake's Reward first time round, back in 2003, it has also been reissued, in Regency Lords & Ladies 28.

Joanna

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