Finally! A real regency romance! I’ve been wary of the regency and historical romance genres as of late due to many of the stories just feeling so out of place for their respective time periods. I had no such issues with this book and it was actually pretty refreshing.
“The words seemed to rearrange themselves on the paper, until the familiar hand became the strong, sweet voice of Miss Debord, chronicling, not the leisurely life of a gentleman of means, as he had supposed, but the lonely and isolated life of a woman who had striven to enrich her own life and that of others by her tireless work, without thought of reward or renown.”
The Female Correspondent is a squeaky clean romance novel about a young woman, Beatrice Debord, who is more interested in botany than she is in marriage. Nobody takes her work seriously due to her gender, which leads her to pose as a man in her exchanges with Henry Burbank. Eager for intelligent conversation, Henry seeks out his correspondent and Beatrice finds herself caught in a lie. While the book doesn’t specifically name a historical figure as inspiration, this story brings to mind Jeanne Baret, a female botanist that disguised herself as a man so that she could sail to South America and conduct research with her employer and rumored lover, Philibert Commerson.
The story flows nicely, has an interesting cast of characters, and the love story I found believable. I was pleasantly surprised and ran out to download Deverell’s other books.
Beatrice Debord has assumed a male pseudonym in her correspondence with famous botanist, Henry Burbank. When, impressed and intrigued by her knowledge and reticence, he seeks out his correspondent, Beatrice is forced to invent a series of lies for the fictional Mr. Allenham’s whereabouts. A clean regency romance in the vein of Georgette Heyer.