“Reading them for the first time, Victoria was struck by the written words: I will do what people want but only as I want it to be. They summarised pithily her own approach to life.”
A Motif of Seasons: The Story
Overshadowing the social games and vindictive gossip of the European elite, a dark and threatening cloud steadily draws across Europe. On 28th June 1914 an Austro-Hungarian archduke is assassinated and the mounting tension finally snaps. War is declared and the lives of two families will be changed forever.
Set in the latter half of the 19th century, A Motif of Seasons tells the stories of two powerful European families – the von Deppes in Germany and theWhitfields in England – still locked in an ancient rivalry, triggered by an ancestral union. The unexpected marriage in 1766 between the beautiful, capricious and musically accomplished young Arabella Whitfield and the older Prussian military officer Count Carl Manfred von Deppe has left a legacy of distrust and prejudice.
Against the backdrop of a widening and destructive gulf between England and Germany, A Motif of Seasons follows three women – Victoria Elise von Böhm, Alice Bartlett and Arabella von Eisenwald – kindred spirits of the feisty Arabella, who share her musical talent and her passion for life. The three women find love, uncover family secrets locked away in an 18th-century music book and define their individuality in a patriarchal landscape of social straitjackets and dictated norms. But the past proves a formidable opponent.
With tales of hidden illegitimate children, sensual affairs and young soldiers braving the horrors of First World War battlefields, A Motif of Seasons is an adventurous, gripping and touching epic about family, love and social freedom.