The Secret History of the Pink Carnation


A book series that has caught my attention in the last few years is The Secret History of the Pink Carnation Series by Lauren Willig. I love to describe it as “my Napoleonic Historical Romance Espionage series.” There’s a potential acronym in there but I prefer the extended version for the raised eyebrows I usually receive from my friends.

Each novel focuses on a different English spy part of the Pink Carnation’s network. Narrated by a Harvard History grad student living in England to explore these spies, the series has a great back bone and Willig isn’t afraid to resurrect old characters to make it truly feel like a community and also make you feel like these are old friends.

I just finished The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, a book that I skipped over due to my initial dislike of one of the characters from a previous novel in the series. While it was not my favorite, it was nice to read about the characters with rougher edges. It was also the book that made me realize that I’m reading two series at roughly the exact same time period. The other series, which I’ll discuss at another time, most likely occurs a good 10-20 years after this series but it didn’t stop me from jumping up and down due to overlapping characters. The history major in me says I need to do some factual reading on this period…