A virtuous young lady, left in poverty, marries a stiff old lawyer.
Anne Marsh-Caldwell (1791-1874) published some 26 works of fiction between 1834 and 1867; her high moral tone exemplifies what most people associate with the word “Victorian.” Here, however, she successfully portrays complex characters in interestingly difficult situations.
“A masterpiece….a most beautiful tale, with a charming, tender moral…. The characters are real, the incidents unforced, and the whole story a delightful combination of the natural, the passionate, and the wise.” Examiner, April 11, 1846
It “goes far, in our opinion, towards realizing the idea of a perfect novel. Its conception is new and striking, its characters are strongly marked and consistently sustained, and they are developed in conversation and action rather than in description. The book is full of amusing pictures of life and manners, while it lays open the deepest feelings of the mind and heart. The interest never flags, and yet the narrative is always simple, natural, and vraisemblable.” Christian Remebrancer, October, 1847
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