The Secret History of the Pink Carnation


Today is September 1, which means it is the official kick-off day for Pink for All Seasons! During the month of September, we will be reading Lauren Willig’s The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

There will be a giveaway or two, some guest posts, and lots of Pink talk, so please make yourself at home. If there is something you want to see or discuss related to the books, let me know!

I will still be posting a few things throughout the month that are not Pink related, so don’t be surprised if you see the occasional review or release announcement that isn’t about one of Lauren’s books – I do read other things (occasionally). Don’t tell her, okay? Be cool.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation was originally published in 2004. Does that seem possible? About a year ago, Lauren started posting “Pink Recaps” on her website with a quick run-down of the Who, Where, When and What for each book. Here is her recap for Pink I:

Who: Amy Balcourt and Richard Selwick
Where: England and France
When: Spring, 1803
What: Amy Balcourt is determined to track down the Purple Gentian—so she can join him. Mistaken identities and deeds of derring-do ensue.
Historical Cameos: Assorted Bonapartes

If you are reading this book for the first time with us, I’m almost envious. You’re in for such a treat. If you’ve read this once (or five or ten times) already, then grab your copy settle in. Let’s get back to where Lauren began it, ten years ago, with our intrepid Eloise struggling through London public transit to pay a visit to one Mrs. Arabella Selwick-Alderly.

“The Tube had broken down. Again…”

23 thoughts on “The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

  1. I just downloaded Pink I. It starts with 2 girls, a spinster, a hatred of sheep and a desire for adventure (and of course a gawky, but true blue American girl). Ready….start…..gooooo!

  2. As I am rereading to be ready for the release of Pink XII, I am reminded of the introduction of Eloise through the Prologue. I had forgotten that she was just getting over a break-up when she arrived in London to do research for her dissertation. Loved the comedy element on the first page as Eloise is riding the tube and how she identifies the person she bumps into as a Frenchman.
    Good description Mel Burns, of Eloise as a gawky, true blue American girl.

  3. I am going to reread as we go along.
    I wasn’t too sure about Colin in the beginning.
    But am hoping for a Colin and Eloise HEA now!

  4. Happy kick off day! Pink For All Seasons has to be one of the most fantastical event ideas ever! This is my all-time favorite series.

    I remember thinking back when I first started reading The Secret History of the Pink Carnation that this book was almost like a special gift; it was as if Lauren Willig had specifically written a book that had everything I loved in it.

    I am so looking forward to reading each of these books again and sharing the experience with other Pink fans, old and new.

    • I know what you mean, Paige. I found this book while perusing the bookshelves and was struck by the title and cover. Then when I read the blurb, I knew I had to get it, because one of my daughter’s favorite movies had been The Scarlett Pimpernel. So, I read it, was hooked, and so glad I had 3 more in the series to read at that time. Of course I told my daughter about it – she and my sister as well are avid fans for this series.

      • Betty, that is exactly how it happened with me! I saw the Pink Carnation on the new book shelf at the library and was instantly smitten. I love the earlier covers, they are so beautiful…..the best one is Mischief in Mistletoe. I have never warmed to the new covers, but I adore what’s on the page.:)

  5. Ashley,
    What time zone is this posting in, because I just made my comment above at 9:22 p.m. east coast DST, and it is posting as 1:22 a.m. Sept., 2nd. Noticed that with my first post, too.

    • Carly, it shouldn’t be too hard to find! My library has 2 copies, my local bookstore carries it, and it’s available for Nook and Kindle. You have all of September, no worries!

  6. I started wen “The Orchid Affair” was on the NEW shelf at the library. Devoured that as a stand alone and practically sprinted back to grab pink 1. Have now done the series multiple times, including audible. I love Eloise at the beginning, and Mrs Sedgwick-Alderley is so dear. Saying she expects Eloise will want to start with Amy…I expect that’s a good idea…

  7. Very excited for this! I’m going to bring my copy on vacation with me this weekend, I’ve only read each book once! I can’t believe Pink Carnation came out 10 years ago, wow. And it seems like such a fun and low stress way to reread a wonderful series, one a month is very doable. Thanks for hosting this, I’m excited for all the Pink content ahead!! My friend just started reading Pink Carnation so I sent her this blog link, we’re both going to participate 🙂

  8. I found this series after I had read the Lady Gray series from Deanna Raybourn. I fell in love with the time period and the strong female character so I needed more. The Pink books have more than met my expectations. I have looked forward to the release of each book and I will be sad to see the series end. I am happy to read the books all over again. Colin was pretty nasty at the beginning. I’m glad he’s become more lovable over time. I love the mystery, the romance, and the sense of humor that Lauren Willig fills all of her wonderful stories with. I’m looking forward to following the discussions on this page.

    • Deanna and Lauren both write some pretty great characters. I read Lady Julia first and one of the things I liked best about that series was Julia’s over-the-top family. I thought those characters were pretty silly until I started the Pink series. Lauren somehow manages to take the fun to a whole different level.

  9. Is Internet trying to kick me off again? I really thought I had left a comment.
    I’ll persevere. I will prevail on the bad bad Internet that keeps eating all my comments!

    I think I fell in love with Lauren’s books and Lauren’s writing right on the first page, with this sentence. “The tube had broken down. Again.”
    The legend says I even giggled in the subway, earning suspicious looks from my fellow commuters.
    Right there, that’s when I knew… And Lauren has never let me down since then!

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