A beautiful and virtuous young lady’s trust in the man she loves has unhappy consequences.
Caroline Norton (1808-1877), granddaughter of playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, was a poet, editor, and social leader as well as a novelist. She was notorious also as the victim of a bad marriage; her experience helped justify reform of the laws governing marital property and child custody. It also no doubt informs the plot of this novel; however Norton is at least as interested in plot, character, and social setting as she is in political change. (Warning: If her views on women were progressive, her views on race were not; the misdeeds of two minor characters are repeatedly attributed here to their Indian origin.)
“The gloom of the tale is relieved by a light, airy, racy humour”; it has “an abundance of plot, counterplot, and episode, and even a superabundance of character. . . . ‘Lost and Saved’ is a work of such rare excellence, that it would create a stir amongst novel-readers even if it had not Mrs. Norton’s name on the title-page.” Athenaeum, May 16, 1863
“A novel of rare excellence, accurate in its English, fresh in its thought, artistic in its grouping and its balancing of lights and shades, and with a brave soul speaking through it.” Examiner, May 23, 1863
“There are two points in which we maintain Mrs. Norton’s unquestionable superiority to most novelists of the day”: She can sketch “aristocratic character in all its variations . . . with a rare and remarkable excellence” and she shows the same “excellence in her poetic power. The pathos of some scenes rises quite to the rank of poetry.” Dublin University Magazine, July 1863
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