The Hapgoods of Bramleigh (Book 4), by Christina Dudley — A Review   – Austenprose

From the desk of Katie Patchell:  

Who has seen the 1999 Wives and Daughters miniseries, tailored from Elizabeth Gaskell’s Victorian traditional? It’s a strong research of Nineteenth-century life in a small English village, performed by an exceptional forged. Due to the miniseries, I not too long ago devoured the 720-page quantity and subsequently pressured a member of the family to learn it (which was a heroic accomplishment, as a result of this particular member of the family has “Massive E book Phobia”). Who can overlook Squire Hamley, the character who acts like a personality? To him, the Hamleys of Hamley Corridor have an extended historical past of honor to uphold…however they by no means fairly stay as much as his expectations. In Matchless Margaret, Christina Dudley’s fourth addition to “The Hapgoods of Bramleigh” collection, one other household in a small English village has honor to uphold. This time readers deal with the now-adult Margaret as she navigates household expectations and her personal uncontrollable coronary heart.

A Succesful Heroine

“All who knew her agreed: Miss Margaret Hapgood would by no means marry.” (Location 145)

There isn’t a another centered on caring for her household–physique and soul–than second-youngest, Margaret Hapgood. With a father therapeutic from a stroke and a mom who has blatantly refused to tackle any tasks for over a decade, outspoken Margaret is the one particular person able to taking cost over the Hapgood property. Sadly, that additionally consists of touring to Tub to assist her irresponsible uncle together with his matrimonial pursuits.

Sudden Allies

After his two-year service in His Majesty’s Peninsular Military is interrupted by a blasted leg harm, Dashiell Waite arrives again in England with extra on his to-do record than restoration. His fiancé, Charmaine, has proven no hotter emotions towards him of their letters than the merest commonplace phrases. His mom is concerned with a person who comes from a comparatively respectable household in Somersetshire, however who has scandals linked to his title. When Margaret and Waite cross paths in Tub–actually and figuratively–their connection is transient (and within the case of Waite) adverse. However the plots and escapades that one uncle, one mom, and one chilly, calculating fiancé drag them into give Waite and Margaret no alternative however to turn into allies, mates, and probably one thing extra.

“He had not checked out her; his mouth had scarcely moved. And but she heard him. Until she had imagined it. Imagined him saying: “If any man beloved you, Miss Hapgood, he would require no prompting.” (Location 3391)

Charming & Endearing Characters

Your entire “Hapgoods of Bramleigh” collection is really harking back to Elizabeth Gaskell’s work. Wives and Daughters is a novel about folks–their foibles and strengths; passions and fears. Moreso even than Jane Austen and positively greater than Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell gilds this clear-sighted honesty with kindness. Even the blustering squire and the flirtatious Cynthia are written with a compassionate pen. In the identical means, Christina Dudley has created a forged of characters–all realistically flawed–who reveal what households, friendships, and romantic love is all about. It will probably embrace accidents and arguments, heartfelt apologies and hugs that flip into extra. Margaret is fast to talk with out considering, but additionally fast to come clean with her personal errors. Waite’s potential to skillfully lead at occasions and to additionally comply with Margaret’s management was pretty.

“A masterful plan, Miss Hapgood. One you arrived at with dispatch and expressed clearly. It’s our nation’s loss that, not solely can we balk at permitting younger girls to wander Tub by themselves, however we additionally discourage them from buying arm commissions, for you’d make an excellent basic….I’m a soldier, you understand–or I used to be–and am used to following orders. A assured commanding officer evokes confidence in his troops. Cleared the path, Miss Hapgood.” (Location 1484-1494)

Untangling the Hapgoods

The warning I’ve for potential readers is that, not like different collection, Matchless Margaret actually can’t be learn as a standalone. At 473 pages, a previous information of the Hapgood household and their prolonged relations is required to actually take pleasure in what this novel holds. In any other case a lot of the learn might be spent in untangling the Hapgoods from their varied cousins and in-laws.

Excessive Reward for the Sequence

On this much-anticipated addition to “The Hapgoods of Bramleigh” collection, Christina Dudley continues to enchant readers along with her memorable characters and her Gaskell-esque writing type. Readers returning to the collection might be glad with one more sturdy addition to Dudley’s star forged of heroines: Margaret! For newcomers, I like to recommend beginning with The Naturalist and proceed from there. Belief me – it is going to be price it.

5 out of 5 Stars




  • Matchless Margaret: The Hapgoods of Bramleigh (E book 4), by Christina Dudley
  • BellaVita Press (October 20, 2021)
  • Commerce paperback & eBook (473) pages
  • ISBN: ‎ 978-0983072164
  • Style: Historic Romance, Regency Romance


We acquired one assessment copy from the writer in trade for an sincere assessment. is an affiliate. Cowl picture courtesy of BellaVita Press © 2021; textual content Katie Patchell © 2022,

Hey-ho pricey readers,

Have you ever learn any of the novels in The Hapgoods of Bramleigh collection?

Should you take pleasure in historic romance with witty dialogue, partaking plots, and endearing characters, Austenprose extremely recommends them. 

Drop us a line under and share your ideas on this assessment and what you might be presently studying! We might love to listen to from you!

Laurel Ann Nattress, editor


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