Word: Virtuoso

Some of my writing friends were concerned about using this word as a book’s title. It’s not a term most of us use frequently, and while it’s a pretty word (visually), it’s not easy to say, and it’s not directly evocative of the Regency period.

What exactly is a virtuoso? Random House Webster’s Dictionary says a virtuoso is…

1) a person who has special knowledge of skill in a field, 2) a person who excels in musical technique or execution, 3) a person who has a cultivated appreciation of artistic excellence

By the end of the book, Valentine has referred to himself as a virtuoso a few times, though not always in connection with music (ahem), but he’s also referred to one other person as a virtuoso: His Grace, the Duke of Moreland, who by his own admission cannot carry a tune in a bucket, and mostly just moves his lips when “God Save the King” is sung. This scene is near the end of the book, but I think you’ll find Val’s use of the term to describe his father appropriate when you read it in context.

And as for the use of the word in the title? I surprised myself by how stubborn I was in wanting to see Valentine’s book called, The Virtuoso, so if the title isn’t a good fit, it’s nobody’s fault by mine. Let me know what you think, and what you’d propose as a better title for Valentine and Ellen’s story.

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6 comments on “Word: Virtuoso

  1. I think its perfect. I cannot imagine another word to describe Val so well. I also think it is the best one of the three books. I am now reading Lady Sophia. Keep them coming!

  2. Thanks, Abi! And EJ, did you like the part about the only other person in the book referred to as a virtuoso was His Grace? That was one of those little “Huh?” writing moments that you don’t pick up until you’re in revisions, and then you think, “Heck, wish I’d thought that up on purpose!”

  3. The title for Val’s book is perfect, you chose well. I can’t think of any other title for it, it fits Val & Ellen since they both posses special skills with music and plants alike. Have read all of your books so far and can’t wait to hear more from the Windham sisters.

  4. Maria, some of the conteder titles were “The Artist,” and “The Maestro,” which were OK, but….. Lady Genevieve Windham as a real brushes-and-canvas artist in her future, so I wasn’t about to give that one up. Glad you’re enjoying the books.

  5. What a lovely wodge of words in your Word Corner Posts! My mom and I sometimes got carried away looking up words in the 2 volume OED we got for joining a bookclub. There were a few times we managed to check just one word…