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All I know about Forever Amber is that she spends several days getting ready for a party - and I read that in a Jilly Cooper novel!


I loved it when I read it as a teenager in the 70s. Totally absorbing. Life at the court of Charles II, a woman sleeping her way to the top & lots of adventure. I'd put it in the same category as Gone With The Wind. A great read, a book to become immersed in for the time spent reading it. Haven't seen the film either.


Yep, remembered loving it as a teenager. Real bodice-ripping stuff.

Would love to listen to the Alan Bradley books - but the first one seems to only be available on Audible in an abridged version - why, oh why do they do that?


I read this as a teenager, when it was regarded as a very shocking book. It was a sensation at the time and well enough known for it to be mentioned in one of Elinor M Brent-Dyer's Chalet School books, where a 'bad girl' reads it.

Jennifer Dee

Yes, I loved this book, but thought it a tad too long in the Penguins edition, goodness knows what the orginal unedited edition was like.


Like the others, loved it as a teenager.


I loved this book when I read it as a teenager. I knew it was long but I was so engrossed in the story the length didn't bother me one bit. Wonder what I would think of it now!

Desperate Reader

I've never read it but think it might have to go on my wish list after reading the Showalter article.

adele geras

I, too, read this at school when it was passed around like contraband. Terrific stuff of which I can remember little except that it was very naughty. Not as explicit as Peyton Place which taught us an awful lot! Gosh, those books were fun! I wonder how they would read now....

Simon (Savidge Reads)

I haven't but I have to say that I really, really want to having heard wonderful things about it.

Julie Fredericksen

I haven't read it but I think "bodice ripper" would be a good description. I have it in hardcover as part of the Bestseller Library series from Doubleday Book Club. I note that "The Fountainhead" is part of that set and I haven't read it either. Is it worth reading, Cornflower Book Club members? It was fun perusing my set (I have 16 of them out of ??) I don't think "Captain From Castile" has held up, or "Green Dolphin Street" or "The Robe." But there are classics too, like "Gone With The Wind", "Rebecca", "Dr. Zhivago" and "East of Eden".

There is only one reader ahead of me at the library for "The Weed That Strings The Hangman's Bag" (yay!) But surely one of the weirdest titles ever? (Unless it's a British thing?)

Julie Fredericksen

I re-read "Peyton Place" a few years ago. It seems very, very mild now.


Julie, 'The Weed is that that strings the hangman's bag' is a line from a poem by Sir Walter Raleigh to his son (no, I didn't know that before) which appears at the beginning of the book and is, as you'll see, relevant to the plot.
Hope you don't have long to wait to read it - I'm enjoying it very much!


Gosh , that brings back memories ! As boarders in a convent in the '50s , we were a little sensation-starved . Forever Amber was welcomed with open arms , as was Georgette Heyer and even Baroness Orczy .
Mightn't be quite so thrilling now .


Oops I wasn't a fan of this one. I read this just a few years ago and I remember not finishing it but then again I read it as an adult and not as a teenager.


I also read it as a teenager. Found it thrilling at the time but don't think I would enjoy it as much now!


When I started work in a library in 1966 this was one of the titles kept in the back room that had to be asked for. It was certainly "different" from a Georgette Heyer or a Jean Plaidy but I loved it. Not sure how it would stand up today to modern readers who are used ot much more explicit writing but give it a try.


I adored Forever Amber when I was a teenager. I don't remember it being too explicit, especially in comparison to a lot of books today. For me it was the glamour and escape of the historical setting which was irresistible. Traumatic national events - the Great Fire of London, the Plague - became fabulously dramatic backdrops against which our plucky heroine could prove her mettle. Saying that, I'd like to think I was getting a little historical education in among all the heaving cleavage and fluttering eyelashes...

It has similarities in subject matter and tone to Anya Seton's 'Katherine', another much loved book of my teens. I think I longed to be a beautiful peasant girl destined to fight her way to the top of a feudal society, by looks and cunning alone...


I remember reading this as a teenager and thinking it was so sexy and we had to hide it if any of the nuns caught us with it, but now of course it is probably as pure as pure. I do remember the historical aspect of it was very well done, not just the bodice ripping!

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