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Lorri Proctor

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A Review for The Crimson Bed
Saturday, March 06, 2010  11:59:00 AM

by Lorri Proctor

Historical Fiction
Great review by Barabara Nadel (well known author of the Inspector Ikmen series set in Istanbul)

The Crimson Bed by Loretta Proctor

Set against the backdrop of the revolution in art that was started by the
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the 1850s, 'The Crimson Bed' is a tale of
secrets and jealousies, omissions and lies. At her father's request, young Eleanor Farnham sits for a minor pre-Raphaelite artist and, via this sitting, finds herself drawn into the world of art and of artistic romance. Eventually finding what she hopes in true love with struggling artist Frederick Ashton Thorpe, Eleanor is nevertheless still in love with her childhood sweetheart who, she believes, has abandoned her.

Of course in books, as in life, nothing is as simple as it seems and both
Eleanor and Frederick are at the mercy of the many secrets that exist in
their families. Lies have been told to them and they in turn have told lies.
But then for every rule breaking, free living Millais or Rossetti there were
thousand upon thousands of tortured Victorians trying, and mostly failing, to live within the strict moral dictates of the day. People like Eleanor and Frederick. It is their individual struggles to untangle their pasts, to discover their own personal truths and to find a way to live together in peace that constitutes the main thrust of this story. As an exploration of the often hypocritical mores of the time, it is fascinating. Illicit sex was everywhere in Victorian England and yet to be caught actually indulging in it was tantamount to social suicide. Loretta Proctor tackles this very well and one can really feel the torment her characters experience as they fall, sometimes again and again, from what is considered a state of monogamous grace.

Details do not always contain the devil for me and some of Loretta's details are divine. One can really see and smell the naughty old London pleasure gardens where young men of quality and young ladies on the make were wont to roam. I also like the way that the actual Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood are kept at the periphery of the novel, not influencing but affecting the main characters lives. But it is the Crimson Bed itself that really benefits from the author's eye for detail. A metaphor for a womb if ever I saw one - sorry, psychology graduate speaking here - it is a lovely and yet at the same time, forbidding thing and men and woman have very different opinions of it. I enjoyed The Crimson Bed enormously both as a novel and as an account of the secretive, if not secret, world of the Victorians.

Barbara Nadel (author of the Inspector Ikmen and the Francis Hancock series)




Loretta Proctor

 More News about Lorri Proctor
The Long Shadow now in Kindle! - 8/4/2012 3:46:00 AM

Loretta's latest novel - Middle Watch. - 3/22/2012 11:16:00 AM

Proof Reading always amazes! - 12/7/2011 2:46:00 AM

A wonderful review for The Crimson Bed - 1/21/2011 6:18:00 AM

Wonderful Review from Working Girl Reviews - 6/17/2010 6:21:00 AM

Rave Review for The Crimson Bed - 3/22/2010 10:29:00 AM

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