When your father is a man of expensive tastes and schemes but very little money, you soon learn to make do. So when Captain Fortune, a well-meaning but profligate ex-soldier in Regency England, tells his daughter Caroline that they are ruined, she automatically starts seeking employment as a governess. Her father, however, has far grander designs for Miss Fortune.â€¦
Caro is to become the companion of Mrs. Catling, the rich, fierce widow of her father's old colonel. As Mrs. Catling amuses herself by tormenting her relatives and servants, Caro resolves to make the best of the situation, and soon her beauty and intelligence attract the attentions of male admirers.
Surrounded by people with an alarming readiness to reveal each other's confidences, Caroline is exasperated to find herself implicated in their indiscretions. But will Miss Fortune be able to avoid losing her reputation without losing her head? And will she find at least one good man amongst the genteel set who will take her side, and, indeed, her fancy?
""This lustrous historical romanceâ€¦captures the spirit of early nineteenth-century Britain through the extraordinary lives of the wives and lovers of its greatest poets.""
--Entertainment Weekly (editor's choice, Grade A)
""[One of] the best books of 2005. A remarkable book.... As the title suggest, it's about love and lust, but Passion concerns itself in almost greater measure with those romantic yearnings by which men and women live and for which they are willing to dieâ€¦. A feast of language, a grab bag of delights.... An exploration of mind and emotion, heart and art.""
--The Washington Post Book World
""[A] deeply imagined and gorgeously written novel about the Romantic poets, as seen by the women who loved themâ€¦. Morgan brings a fascinating past to brilliant light.""
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
""Whether historical or romantic fiction, or a melding of the two, this is a sensational story of money, marriage, and, above all, high-wrought emotionâ€¦. A sprightly, intelligent romp.""
""The wealth of detail and Morgan's amazing ability to re-create what these women might have thought and felt are worth savoringâ€¦. The novel encompasses enough love affairs and tragedy for a dozen bodice-rippers, without ever losing its clear-eyed intelligenceâ€¦. Passion more than lives up to its title.""
--The Christian Science Monitor
""Astonishing historical fiction that vividly reflects the passions associated with an exhilarating new era in literature.""
""Passion is a wonderful book---rich, authentic, beautifully written and, yes, passionateâ€¦. I have not been better entertained all year.""
--Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring