Novel 045: Beatrice May Butt, Alison (1883)

 
 Thomas Francis Dicksee, Distant Thoughts

Thomas Francis Dicksee, Distant Thoughts

 

A virtuous young lady marries a scholarly older man who needs help caring for his late sister's children.


Beatrice May Butt (1856-1918) published some fifteen works of fiction between 1876 and 1908; in this she offers a quiet plot, some vivid characters, and a subtle sense of personal relationships.

“A pretty story, with a happy blending of the poetical and the prosaic.” Times, November 9, 1883

“Those who like a quiet story, without sensationalism of any kind, but yet, at the same time, an admirable study of the inner life and its affections, will find undoubted pleasure in this work.... The author’s style is smooth and pleasant, and occasionally rises into dignity and pathos.”  Academy, November 10, 1883

“The heroine’s pure and affectionate though passionate nature is well exhibited.”  Athenaeum, December 1, 1883.

Download this week's novel:

v. 1: http://access.bl.uk/item/viewer/ark:/81055/vdc_00000004AFFA#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=6&xywh=-31%2C0%2C2547%2C1856

v. 2: http://access.bl.uk/item/viewer/ark:/81055/vdc_00000004B7FE#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=6&xywh=-59%2C0%2C2627%2C1915

v.3: http://access.bl.uk/item/viewer/ark:/81055/vdc_00000004B000#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=6&xywh=-95%2C-1%2C2651%2C1933

Crossword 043: Get the L Out

 
 Lord Frederic Leighton, The Return of Persephone

Lord Frederic Leighton, The Return of Persephone

 

Wait!  Come back!  Not you!—the "L."  Everybody's welcome here at David Alfred Bywaters's Weekly Crossword Cavalcade—even you.  As so often before, we at "The Cavalcade" have taken something unpleasant, a phrase that may perhaps evoke bitter memories, and made it—fun! (By "we" I mean, of course, "I.")


Download this week's crossword:

043-Get-the-L-Out.puz

043-Get-the-L-Out.pdf


A puzzle of mine appears today in The Wall Street Journal.


Novel 043: Thomas Cobb, The Bishop's Gambit (1901)

 
 Walter Crane, The Moat and Bishop's Palace, Wells Cathedral

Walter Crane, The Moat and Bishop's Palace, Wells Cathedral

 

A bishop’s daughter’s fiancé is accused of adultery in a divorce case.


Thomas Cobb (1854-1932) wrote some 86 works of fiction beginning in 1887. He specialized in breezy comedies like this one.

“A book of ingenious complications and bright dialogue...the story is human and pure comedy.”  Academy, February 2, 1901

The author “is saving us the trouble and humiliation of always going to France for good light fiction.  There are few English authors who have the art of being light without being empty." This novel "shows no falling off in interest and vivacity...We read it on the South Eastern Railway, and forgot where we were.”  Speaker, February 16, 1901

It has “a clever, novel plot in its way” with “an air of light comedy.”  Athenaeum, February 23, 1901

Download this week's novel:

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/OXVU1:LSCOP_OX:oxfaleph014873955

 

Novel 042: Anonymous, My Lady (1858)

 
 Richard Buckner, Emily, 1st Viscountess Hambleden, and her Daughter

Richard Buckner, Emily, 1st Viscountess Hambleden, and her Daughter


A woman and her children are left in trouble after the husband and father absconds with another woman.


The anonymous author is known to have written two novels, of which this was the first.  Some sources (I don’t know the origin of the claim) identify her with Emma Willsher Atkinson, the author of last week’s novel; Troy Bassett finds no basis for this, and the novel seems to me by another hand entirely.  Read both and make up your own mind.  Whoever she (or he) may be, she (it seems the likelier choice) provides an involving, sophisticated analysis of the consequences of Victorian marital failure.

It is “told...with great strength of feeling, is well written, and has a plot that is by no means commonplace.” Examiner, September 16, 1858

It has “the freshness of inexperience.”  Though the plot “verges upon melodrama,” the characters are “distinctly drawn, and often wear an appearance of individuality.” Spectator, October 2, 1858

“The subject and structure of the story are well chosen and well planned, the conversations are natural, and the characters neither hackneyed nor untrue.”  Literary Gazette, October 23, 1858

“It is not in every novel we can light upon a style so vigorously graceful—upon an intelligence so refined without littleness, so tenderly truthful, which has sensibility rather than poetry; but which is also most subtly and searchingly powerful.”  Dublin University Magazine, April. 1859

Download this week's novel:

https://archive.org/details/10491482.1530.emory.edu

 

Crossword 041: In Absentia

 
 Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, Dignity and Impudence

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, Dignity and Impudence

 

In is out!  That's the kind of upside-down, through-the-looking-glass sort of a wonderland world this bold new puzzle creates.  And just so you don't get too comfortable, at least one in....is still in!  You won't find that feature in many other puzzles.

The above painting refers to a subtheme, daringly embedded in baffling cross-references.


Download this week's crossword:

041-In-Absentia.puz

041-In-Absentia.pdf

 

Novel 039: Margaret Hunt, Mrs. Juliet (1892)

 
 Philip Calderon, Juliet

Philip Calderon, Juliet

 

A virtuous young lady, secretly married, is forced to live with her rich, vulgar, art-collecting aunt.


Margaret Hunt, née Raines (1831-1912), who sometimes wrote as Averil Beaumont, sometimes as Mrs. Alfred Hunt (her husband was a well-known painter) produced about a dozen novels beginning in 1872, the last completed by her daughter Violet, also a novelist, and the consort of Ford Madox Ford, the best known novelist of the three.  This novel, the gripping plot of which begins in domestic comedy and ends in sensationalistic mystery, represents its varied and amusing characters in a brisk style.

Despite themes long familiar from “tri-voluminous fiction, the author...has managed to produce a fresh, attractive, and decidedly entertaining story.” Athenaeum, December 31, 1892

“Mrs. Alfred Hunt is a writer whose narratives go along smoothly enough, and whose persons have the breath of life."  Saturday Review, January 21, 1893

The heroine’s troubles “are related with a vivacity which goes far to relieve their dismalness....The story is a very good one, with plenty of excitement in the matter of plot, and at least one admirably drawn character.”  Spectator, March 25, 1893

Download this week's novel:

v.1 http://access.bl.uk/item/viewer/ark:/81055/vdc_00000004DCAC#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&xywh=-1624%2C-120%2C4644%2C2389

v.2 http://access.bl.uk/item/viewer/ark:/81055/vdc_00000004DD00#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=6&xywh=-657%2C347%2C2911%2C1498

v.3 http://access.bl.uk/item/viewer/ark:/81055/vdc_00000004DD4E#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=6&xywh=-693%2C-1%2C3791%2C1951

 

Crossword 38: That's No Way to Be!

 
 Albert Joseph Moore, A Garden

Albert Joseph Moore, A Garden

 

When I wrote the clues for this puzzle, the temptation to cross-reference was particularly difficult to resist.  10 Down, 33 Down, and 19 Across all refer to an activity that may be performed on 4 Down, 6 Down, 12 Down, 14 Across, 60 Across, and in fact anything 47 Down.  But for your sake, gentle solver, resist I did.


Novel 038: Henry Cuyler Bunner, The Midge (1886)

 
 John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Miss Dorothy Vickers

John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Miss Dorothy Vickers

 

An eccentric New York bachelor adopts an orphaned French-English waif.


Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855-1896) was better known for his stories and plays than his two novels.  This, the first, is a brief comedy of situation, delightful except for its odd ending.

“A slight yet charming study of life in the French quarter of New York."  Eclectic Magazine, July, 1886

The plot is “gracefully and artistically handled”;“the story is rich in sensitive passages, both humor and pathos being well portrayed."  Advance, October 7, 1886

Download this week's novel:

https://archive.org/details/midgemidge00bunnrich

 

Crossword 036: Resounding Frauds

 
 John William Waterhouse, Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus

John William Waterhouse, Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus

 

Do you worry that online media are creating illusory bonds and instilling obsessive habits that rob you of your authentic self?  Of course you do!  But not this website: on the contrary, I'm here to put you on your guard.



Pointing Hand.png

A puzzle of mine will appear this Wednesday, August 1, in the Wall Street Journal.


Novel 036: Emily Eden, The Semi-Detached House (1858)

 
 James Tissot, Autumn on the Thames

James Tissot, Autumn on the Thames

 

An aristocratic young lady, prevented by her pregnancy from accompanying her diplomat husband overseas, shares a “semi-detached house” with a middle class family.


Emily Eden (1787-1869), daughter of a baron and sister of an earl, wrote only two novels, of which this quiet, pleasant work of social comedy is the second, though the first to be published.

“A piece of real life, sketched by a spectator full of shrewd sense and a genial spirit of fun.”  Spectator, August 6, 1858

“The purpose of this book, in so far as it has a purpose, is to teach us to take life easily and frankly...that we should not be too much pleased at speaking to persons of superior rank, nor too anxious to avoid those who may be below us”; the story is slight, but has “sparkling dialogue...good subsidiary characters, and...cheerful and habitual good sense.”  Saturday Review, August 27, 1858

“Character painting so entirely unpretending in its manner, and so perfect of its sort, as that which gives to this novel its value as a work of art, is not often to be found.”  Examiner, August 27, 1858

Download this week's novel:

https://archive.org/details/semidetachedhous00eden