Miss Lattimore’s Letter

Written by Suzanne Allain
Review by Ray Thompson

Since Sophronia Lattimore is an impoverished spinster serving as her cousin’s chaperone, she has ample opportunity to observe the conduct of those around her, and when she perceives that some might be pursuing the wrong potential marriage partner, she writes an anonymous letter. The result, however, is not only a happier realignment for all parties, but for Sophie an unwanted reputation as a matchmaker when her identity is discovered. Among those who seek her advice is Sir Edmund Winslow, a very eligible bachelor of whose attractiveness she is very well aware. Will she too find the happiness her advice has steered others towards? For that matter, will they?

This is an insightful novel of manners. No threats of violence or graphic sexual encounters so popular in many modern Regencies, but rather wellborn young people negotiating the perils of strict social conventions that often hinder more than help their serious search for a loving, or at least compatible, marriage partner. And ‘in possession of a good fortune’, of course. A title would be nice. Jane Austen’s influence is readily apparent in language usage, character conduct, and, most importantly, the subtle wit and irony that provide so much entertainment.

Strongly recommended.