The Princess of Leisure by Anna Wharton

To call someone to be your lover in Latin is quo toto (I want you to be my lover). It literally means, “in whole,” or “with exception.” If you think a fortune teller’s predictions about your future hold any meaning, then it means that you accept the reality of what he says. Use the adverbial term in toto when speaking about a relationship: “we completely share the same feelings.”

From whence did the Tin Man and his associate, Huckleberry Finn, come? I don’t think there is one definitive answer to this question, but toto seems to play an important role in all three books. In To Be Or Not to Be by Leo Tolstoy, we can read from the viewpoint of the Tin Man, who longs to meet the woman of his dreams. In To Be Or Not to Be by Henry David Thoreau, we can learn how to overcome our infatuation with all things female and follow a more solitary life.

In the third novel of the series, Anna Wharton is confronted with the choice between following her destiny and following her heart. A new relationship leads Anna to a strange, lonely island off the coast of Oregon. While on the island, Anna meets a man she calls Boaz, who is very different from the man she had seen in her dreams. Boaz wants Anna to accompany him to Europe, where he hopes to find a cure for her disease – a condition called “neurotic dyspepsia.” When Anna refuses, he runs away to marry another woman.

When we reach the end of Anna Wharton’s story, her destiny has finally been revealed, and she finally decides to follow her heart and travel to Europe. She takes a cab to Bordeaux, France, where she marries Boaz and lives with him in an idyllic country estate overlooking the river Seine. The novel then follows her to London, where she falls in love with a Mr. Hunt, while also trying to win a research grant for the botany department of her university.

Like its forerunner, Breathless, Anna Wharton’s Anna Wharton novels have become classics. However, this book differs from the other Wharton novels in that it is not based on a true story. There are many similarities to the story of Anna Wharton, the author has simply chosen to write in a different format. It should be noted, however, that this version of her story has enjoyed a resurgence of interest since the publication of Breathless and has even led to a sequel. Many readers have re-reads of Anna Wharton novels and enjoy this fictionalized version of her story.

In Breathless, Anna Wharton tells her story from a unique viewpoint. She gives us a rare and powerful view into the life of a woman who is married to a powerful English nobleman but has to flee his house at the beginning of the story to escape a mob. Anna Wharton weaves her story around the politics of her time as well as the intricate relationship that she and her husband have forged over the years. For those readers who enjoy historical fiction and who like a clever, witty woman, then Anna Wharton is the perfect writer for them.