Novel 003: Charlotte Yonge, Heartsease (1854)

William Henry Margetson, Lady with Pansies

William Henry Margetson, Lady with Pansies


A naive young girl marries into a difficult family and wins her way by her virtue.


Charlotte Yonge (1823-1901) wrote some 60 novels between 1844 and 1900.  No novelist has ever created characters more lifelike, original, and fully individualized than Yonge's.

“One of the loveliest, sweetest, and most attractive creations that ever sprung to life at the poet’s bidding." Fraser's Magazine, November, 1854

"There is ... minute etching of incident and character, and every page repays the reader, by disclosing some trait of interest essential to the development of the story.  The interest lies chiefly in the details of the daily life and daily trials of the different characters.  These are drawn with considerable vigour.... ’Heartsease’ is the most true looking story we have read for a long time." Athenaeum, November 18, 1854

The “characters are exceedingly well drawn and distinguished... The book, although not of the intense kind, bears evidence of very keen observation, and very true and careful thought, and as a work of art, must rank very high." Putnam's, February 1855

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Novel 002: W.E Norris, No New Thing (1883)

Franz Xaver Winterhalter - Adelina Patti.jpg

Franz Xaver Winterhalter - Adelina Patti.jpg


A half-Italian orphan, raised by a wealthy English widow on her country estate, misbehaves.


W.E. Norris (1847-1925) wrote over 40 novels between 1877 and 1925. No New Thing is a  romantic comedy in a witty style, with a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a contemptible young man. The critical comparisons to Anthony Trollope are apt.

"In the Trollopian vein…is Mr. Norris's patient way of letting his characters reveal themselves as the circumstances permit.  But whoever may be Mr. Norris's masters in fiction…No New Thing is as thoroughly fresh and original a novel as has been published for a long time.  The plot has been constructed with great care, and the writer shows much insight into human nature, and a turn for satire." Academy, May 19, 1883

"He has caught Trollope's genial manner in drawing people as they are—men and women who are, on the whole, content with life as they find it, who are not always analyzing their emotions nor craving for a 'higher synthesis.'  Mr. Norris reminds one of Trollope also in his way of discussing a situation by a series of questions in the form of the argument which would probably have been gone through by the persons whose course of action is to be considered.  In humour and gentle pathos Mr. Norris shows resemblances to Trollope....  Perhaps the best character in the book is a young man who has many talents and no application, who is completely selfish and always agreeable, and who has a redeeming point in a sort of emotional affectionateness."  Athenaeum, May 26, 1883

"As a piece of style, this novel is wholly exceptional; it is careful, clear, and polished, yet always graceful and easy.  To read such writing is a pleasure."  British Quarterly Review, July 1883

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Crossword 001: "It's an Upset!"

William Adolphe Bouguereau, Bacchante (see 67 Across)

William Adolphe Bouguereau, Bacchante (see 67 Across)


I post this puzzle, "It's an Upset," to celebrate the fact that my website is now "up."  Fitting, isn't it?  If you persevere in visiting my website, you will find that I am distinguished by nothing so much as my acute sense of the fitting--my command of nuance--my exquisite tact.  Tell your friends! 

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001 It's an Upset.puz

001 It's an Upset.pdf