SUMMERSET ABBEY by T.J. Brown
Pub. Date: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster)
BUY NOW: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads1913: In a sprawling manor on the outskirts of London, three young women seek to fulfill their destinies and desires amidst the unspoken rules of society and the distant rumblings of war. . . .
Sir Philip Buxton raised three girls into beautiful and capable young women in a bohemian household that defied Edwardian tradition. Eldest sister Rowena was taught to value people, not wealth or status. But everything she believes will be tested when Sir Philip dies, and the girls must live under their uncle’s guardianship at the vast family estate, Summerset Abbey. Standing up for a beloved family member sequestered to the “underclass” in this privileged new world, and drawn into the Cunning Coterie, an exclusive social circle of aristocratic “rebels,” Rowena must decide where her true passions—and loyalties—lie.
Frail in body but filled with an audacious spirit, Victoria secretly dreams of attending university to become a botanist like her father. But this most unladylike wish is not her only secret—Victoria has stumbled upon a family scandal that, if revealed, has the potential to change lives forever. . . .
Prudence was lovingly brought up alongside Victoria and Rowena, and their bond is as strong as blood. But by birth she is a governess’s daughter, and to the lord of Summerset Abbey, that makes her a commoner who must take her true place in society—as lady’s maid to her beloved “sisters.” But Pru doesn’t belong in the downstairs world of the household staff any more than she belongs upstairs with the Buxton girls. And when a young lord catches her eye, she begins to wonder if she’ll ever truly carve out a place for herself at Summerset Abbey.
Music of the Edwardians
“The young people of today have gone dance mad!”“I don’t care what they call that noise, it’s not music!”“I don’t know what this world is coming to!”These quotes could have been uttered in the 20’s, 50’s and the 60’s, but they were also said in the early 1900’s, because believe it or not, the music they listened to then was every bit as cutting edge and risqué as were Elvis’s hips.Ragtime, the term for the popular music of the time, burst onto the scene in 1897 and, along with the help of composures like Irving Berlin and Scott Joplin, became a worldwide phenomenon. Ragtime was a combination of marches, made popular by Sousa and African American music from the south. It was known primarily for its fast “ragged” rhythms which made it fun to dance to. And the dancing! Irene and Vernon Castle were responsible for giving a mainstream cache to dances like The One Step, The Grizzly Bear and The Bunny Hug. Ragtime and the other popular music of the era, was consider truly modern music for the new century.The development of ragtime and its dances were suspended when the world went to war and when the men came home, jazz, not ragtime, was the next big thing.Some great music for you to listen to! (Not all of these are consider ragtime… some are just songs popular in the time period)Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin 1899
The Entertainer by Scott Joplin 1902
Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Leo Friedman and Beth Slater Whitson, 1910. (This version sung by Kate Smith.)
Come Josephine in my Flying Machine 1910 by Fred Fisher and Alfred Bryan. (This version sung by Blanche Ring)
Alexander’s Ragtime Band 1911 by Irving Berlin. (This is a 1927 version sung by the incomparable Bessie Smith)
The Summerset Abbey Series
About the author:
Summerset Abbey (Summerset Abbey #1) - January 15, 2013
A Bloom In Winter (Summerset Abbey #2) - March 5, 2013Spring Awakening (Summerset Abbey #3) - August 6, 2013
About the author:
TJ Brown is passionate about books, writing, history, dachshunds and mojitos. If she could go back in time, she would have traveled back to England, 1910, Paris, 1927 or Haight-Ashbury, 1967. She resides in the burbs of Portlandia, where she appreciates the weirdness, the microbreweries, hoodies, Voodoo Donuts and the rain.