Today marks a special event in literary history: Jo Beverley’s last book, Merely a Marriage, is being released to the public.
Anyone who has read Jo Beverley’s books knows that it is a singular pleasure. She masterfully merged meticulous detail, lovely characters, and compelling plots. Her heroines inspired, her heroes were manly and believable, bodices never ripped, and in the process, the reader felt transported to another age and time where manners ruled and life, even for the privileged, was far from simple. Along the way, lessons in history were intricately woven into stories making characters of the Regency and medieval periods come alive.
Merely a Marriage is simply one of Jo’s best. In it we are thrust into a time shortly after Princess Charlotte died in childbirth and the consequent effect her death had, not only on the royal line, but on the every day life of the subjects who loved her.
I cried while reading this book, not only because of the characters who came to feel like friends, but because it is the last of its kind — another jewel in the crown of a much lauded and much loved author. Thank goodness she left behind forty books through which we may remember her.
I had the extreme honor of video tapping Jo Beverley shortly before she died. She was her consummate self — forthright, passionate, interesting — everything an interviewer could hope for. She explained her philosophy of writing, how she did her research, revealed her favorite historical period, and her most ardent pet peeves. Throughout it all, her dry wit kept me entirely enthralled.
Jo Beverley gifted me with her friendship, her books, and this interview. Now, this gift, I pass on to all of you.
I present, for the last time, our Jo Beverley.