SEVEN CIRCUMSTANCES

Original Book Reviews, Recommendations and Discussions

The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet, by Colleen McCullough

The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet, by Colleen McCullough

The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet, by Colleen McCullough

(Pocket Books, reprint edition, Nov. 24 2009) Colleen McCullough has long had women’s liberation on her agenda: The Ladies of Missalonghi (1987), is about the blossoming of a spinsterish poor relation. The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet is more of the same – much more, an historical romance straggled together with every imaginable element of a bodice-ripper: a spinster with potential, handsome lords, highwaymen, rakes, royalty, slatterns, orphans, hermits, belated sex, and a no-holds-barred romantic ending. All highly unlikely and rambling, perhaps the author had actually intended it to be a Regency comedy of manners, rather than, as stated on the cover, a plausible sequel to Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice.

Australian Colleen McCullough died in 2015. Read more here.