Elizabeth Palmer The Scarlet Angel

ISBN 13: 9780312099176

The Scarlet Angel

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9780312099176: The Scarlet Angel
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Machiavellian plotting, suicide, and a deadly struggle of wills result when wealthy George Marchant brings his exotic, amoral, and ambitious new wife, Camilla Vane, home to Marchants, his ancestral English estate

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An English country manor is nearly consumed by a naughty adventuress from Rome--in this classic British melodrama's entertaining depiction of lust and greed. George Marchant, a wealthy British businessman and a pleasant if hardly stimulating fellow, suspects nothing of the trouble he's invited when he proposes marriage to Camilla Vane after a tumultuous love affair in Rome. Sleek, beautiful, 34-year-old Camilla is an adventuress from way back whose aim is to secure enough money to fuel her carefree, hyper-amorous European life. She waits until after the wedding, therefore, to inform George that she has a ten-year-old son stashed away in boarding school--and that instead of a dowry she brings a mountain of debts. George rallies with a shock of his own: His father has recently died and left the family seat to George, who intends to take up residence there. Forced to vacate Rome for the frumpy English countryside, resentful Camilla tries to make her stay bearable by toying with the lives of George's relatives: his twin brothers, Marcus and Tom; Marcus's wife, Diana, who--Camilla instantly intuits--is also Tom's lover; and George's mother, Sarah, who observes Camilla's mischief with an alarmed and wary eye. Seducing, offending, and lying to each in-law in turn, Camilla gets serious after George dies of a heart attack (the result of catching Tom in bed with his pregnant wife), her own heart pounding at the thought of winning the entire estate for herself. But Camilla has underestimated the other Marchants, who have admittedly proved themselves unusually weak-willed, selfish and short-sighted so far. With the future of the dynasty lying in the balance, the Marchants will unite as one against the interloper.... In the deliciously deadpan, confidential tone of an avid gossip, Palmer gives us a world in which the evil are very, very bad, and the good often betrayed by their own timidity. (First printing of 50,000) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Billed as "a novel of obsession," Palmer's debut about a thoroughly wicked woman is meant to be a study of evil, but readers may find its negative depiction of the female sex as distasteful as its amoral central character. Upper-crust Englishman George Marchant, a naive bachelor of 40, marries Camilla Vane, a woman with a shadowy past, who plans to take his wealthy family for every penny. Ensconced at the Marchant estate in the English countryside, ruthless Camilla wastes no time in seducing her brother-in-law; when George walks in on one of their trysts, he dies of a heart attack, leaving Camilla heir to his fortune. The book makes much of George's inability to "control" his wife, taking for granted that men are in charge and that only sinful wives second-guess their mates. Portrayed as one who "despised her own sex," Camilla is a manipulative temptress, a terrible mother who barely acknowledges her prep school-age son from a previous union, and who feels relief when she miscarries George's child. Meanwhile, references to Camilla's frigidity contrast with the wanton behavior of Camilla's sister-in-law, who cheats on her husband but collapses when he demands a divorce. Despite its misogynistic tone, the narrative succeeds as a comedy of manners, adroitly plotted and recounted with dry wit and engaging cynicism. 50,000 first printing .
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9781551664569: Scarlet Angel

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ISBN 10:  1551664569 ISBN 13:  9781551664569
Publisher: Mira, 1998
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