A Regency Christmas Carol
by Christine Merrill
I have never read the original Dickens story but, I have seen a lot of the movie versions, and while it isn't my favorite tale, there is something about it that makes me keep watching new adaptations of the classic.
Christine Merrill's adaptation is set in Regency England rather than Victorian, and it was a lovely little romance. A Regency Christmas Carol starts out a few days before Christmas when Barbara Lampett is trying to bring her father down from one of his soapboxes. Her father Bernard was once a school teacher in a village full of weavers, and is now unemployed as is most of the village.
When the workers rose up over the cruelty of the previous mill owner and burned the mill, Bernard was injured in the fire and it addled his mind. He now goes through his days in quiet scholarly pursuits with a bit of avenging madness mixed in. It is during one of his mad spells that Barbara meets the new mill owner Joseph Stratford.
The son of a weaver himself, Joseph was never very good at weaving but, he has made a fortune reinventing the loom so that it is easier to use. The village of Fiddleton is perfect for his mill, unfortunately Bernard Lampett is continually stirring up trouble with the men of the village. Joseph is promised to the daughter of the aristocrat whose home he now lives in but, he can't keep his mind off of Barbara Lampett. His ghostly visitors arrives to show him not only his past, present and future, but also that of the village itself. Joseph has some very hard decisions to make.
I didn't always like Joseph's character because he was so hard. He wasn't a bad man he was really just more of a shell than an actual person. Growing up in poverty, one would think he would have more empathy for those in need but, it rolled right off him. In fact, everything rolled right off him, except for what Barbara thought of him.
Barbara is just trying to keep her family together for Christmas and her father calm. She doesn't need an inappropriate attraction to the new mill owner to distract her. Barbara and Joseph had to overcome a lot in a short time to find their HEA, and it was done very well.
I really enjoyed A Regency Christmas Carol it was a very sweet Christmas story, even though it is rather light on the Christmas side of the story. I can see myself reading this again around the holidays and it will find a place on my keeper shelf.
Reviewed by: Valarie Pelissero
“Can his three ghostly visitors convince him to change his ways?”
November 2011, 280 pages
Born into poverty, Joseph Stratford's clever mind has made him a rich mill owner, but he has earned himself a wicked reputation among the villagers of Fiddleton. Only firebrand Barbara Lampett can see beyond the cold heart of this gentleman in disguise.
When visited by ghosts of Christmas past, present and future Joseph is brought down to earth with three thumps! But as the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, has Joseph left it too late to claim the beautiful Barbara and enjoy learning the most delicious Christmas lesson of all?