In a small town, a radical clerk is rescued from drowning by a rich young gentleman whom he resents; as it happens, the two men are connected by their parents' secret past.
Elizabeth Darby Eiloart (1827-1898) wrote some 18 novels for adults (and several more for children) between 1865 and 1883; she specialized in middle-class characters and concerns, which emerge sharply in this novel, despite a charmingly silly plot.
“All Mrs. Eiloart’s books are honest books, spiced with independence of thought, and sweetened with a pleasant humour.” This novel “breathes the fresh air of the country"; “its characters are true to life.” Academy, July 18, 1874
Eiloart's “books are original and fascinating; they contain good plots, plenty of incident, and well described and distinctive characters.” This is “one of the best and most interesting novels of the season.” Morning Post, August 25, 1874
“Apart from the plot...Mrs. Eiloart’s novel is refreshingly and unaffectedly real. There is nothing high-flown, nothing morbid in its tone.” It “is not only a love-story. It is a political story. Conservatives and Radicals, rich and poor, the old school and the new, are all faithfully represented....This is one of the most pleasing and interesting novels of the season.” Examiner, August 29 1874
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