A Chaotic Courtship

Written by Bethany Swafford
Review by Ray Thompson

Since Miss Diana Forester is as modest as her dowry, she is taken aback when the handsome and wealthy Mr. John Richfield not only pays her marked attention during her stay in London with her aunt, but asks her permission to speak to her father about courting her. Embarrassed at her own confused reply, she is convinced he will lose interest, but he recognizes her shyness and persists. The courtship encounters problems: she pays too much attention to idle speculation that her betrothed is a highwayman; he to gossip that she is a fortune hunter. All, fortunately, is resolved and a happy marriage takes place.

The focus in this Regency is upon a credibly drawn domestic sphere: family and a close circle of friends in rural England. Diana’s lively interaction with her infuriatingly provoking younger sister and brothers, her love and respect for her wise parents, and her affection for her loyal friend Anna do, however, overshadow her developing romance, partly because the pair are so concerned to observe restrictive social conventions. Readers who prefer spirited heroines may find Diana’s anxieties and insecurities frustrating.