Dolores Monaco


Yes, sigh! It’s me again, Ms. Balogh — I must confess your novels provoke almost a burden of superlatives in me and test every linguistic tool in my mental cupboard to express myself where your achievements are concerned.

OK, I admit it — I am a conceited, intellectual snob; I have an extremely high I.Q. from which I have derived enormous pride and pleasure ever since I encountered Thornton W. Burgess’s Mrs. Peter Rabbit at age 8-9 [too bad this website doesn’t furnish me with the italics I would otherwise use here — and yes, I am also ‘picky’ about the marvels of the English language! But perish the thought that I might be criticizing you for that deficiency — your website undoubtedly “cost a pretty penny,” deservedly so, and I am so grateful to you for it] and have delighted in feeding that mind with voracious reading ever since — not just with reading and formal education (M.A. in Theatre* from one of this nation’s great universities, UNIV. OF ILLINOIS Urbana-Champaign) but also extensive travel in this country, the British Isles and western Europe. And lest anyone scoff at the acquisition of a THEATRE* education, allow me to inform anyone and everyone that that subject encompasses all the cultural riches of western civilization (as well as much of that of Asia — I did a paper on Oriental theatre in graduate school,) starting with the prehistoric cave paintings in Southern France. I have never found any companionship equal to the riches of my own beautiful, well-tended mind, although I would not have missed my two marriages for “all the tea in China,” for want of a better comparison!

And by gosh and by golly — NOBODY, BUT NOBODY can equal the stratospheric quality of Ms. Balogh’s prodigious output on the period of exquisite intelligence, manners and customs that constitutes the English Regency. Ms. Balogh rightly chose that era for her expertise, to my unending delight.

Lest I wander into the arena of the trite, I elect now to exit this message in order to return to the delights of my latest Balogh novel and the thoroughly scrumptious mental and emotional feast that Ms. Balogh never fails to deliver.

[Sorry, Ms. Balogh, I simply cannot contain my gratitude and enthusiasm where your works are concerned. And believe me, I DO (italics, again) KNOW what agonizing labor crafting English and any other [well, I can do a very small bit of French — just enough to appreciate the way interpreting a British heritage into smooth, satisfying prose can be — not to minimize the creation and development of all your delicious characters!

Sigh! There I go again, with what my teachers denounced as “run-on” sentences. Oh well, I suppose warning you “not to look a gift horse in the mouth” applies here . . . .

Mm. Now for that cup of hot chocolate mixed with coffee that constitutes the ultimate “pick-up” for me, with the possible exception of my gin and tonic at the end of the day. Well, perhaps “pick-up” isn’t the correct choice of words for G&T’s soothing effects on my psyche.

*I absolutely refuse to accept the way the low-lifes of the U.S. have chosen to denude our beautiful English words of their historical (Norman French) spellings and other marvels.

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