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August 11, 2021

The Pursuit of Love: The Series and the Novel

by Alison DeLuca


This summer, August has brought a new Prime mini-series, The Pursuit of Love. If you enjoyed Downton Abbey, this new miniseries is more of the same - except with more hilarity and 1930's fashions. 

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The beautiful Linda Radlett is raised by her parents in Alconleigh, the family's massive and crumbling English estate. Her father doesn't allow her to go to school, and she educates herself by reading. In fact, the only outside influence she has is Fanny, her cousin - who is also the narrator of the series.

Ranny and Linda from The Pursuit of Love

Fanny has her own limitations. She's the daughter of a woman who has left so many husbands that she's known as The Bolter. As a result, Fanny is raised by her Aunt Emily. 

Together, Linda and Fanny huddle in the Hons Cupboard and obsess about the size of their wrists, waists, bosoms. Of course, they also talk about their various crushes: Fanny loves a red-faced farmer, and Linda wants the Prince Regent.

Linda, after years of being cloistered by her parents, is like a ripe plum. She only needs the smallest touch to fall headlong into someone's arms - which she does, with disastrous results. 

Linda's story (along with Fanny's more background history) happens among a welter of original characters. There's Uncle Matthew, Linda's father, who likes to hunt his six children and Fanny on horseback. His wife, Aunt Sadie, is permanently ensconced in a daydream. 

Linda's sister, Jassie, is saving money to run away and sells her Christmas presents to add to the little hoard. And Alconleigh is within riding distance of Lord Merlin, an extremely rich nobleman who dresses his dogs in diamonds and is determined to help Linda emerge into Society and cut a dash.

All of these characters are vivid and filled with personality. At the end of the series (and also the books), you feel as though you know them personally and are completely caught up in their lives.

Prime does a good job adapting The Pursuit of Love, due to the scriptwriters' faithfulness to the novel. As well, the new series has a stellar cast - especially Lily James, who plays Linda. Ms. James beautifully captures Linda's young beauty and her overflowing heart. 

If you enjoy the three-part miniseries, do read the Mitford novel. I can promise you wonderfully clear writing and a glimpse into a fascinating, brutal lifestyle that is long gone. It also serves up crackling dialogue, lots of laughs, and a story that's as sweet and sad as life itself.

cover of The Pursuit of Love, the novel


And if you read The Pursuit of Love, you'll also want to read Love in a Cold Climate. It's just as good. 

Buy The Pursuit of Love at Amazon


Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.


Currently, she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey. You can find her at http://bit.ly/ADeLucaAC 



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