Novel 100: Mary Louisa Molesworth, Leona (1892)

James Sant, A Thorn Amidst the Roses

James Sant, A Thorn Amidst the Roses


Two cousins grow interested in the same man.

Here, to follow last week’s Mary Molesworth, is the Victorian period’s other Mary Molesworth, Mary Louisa Molesworth (1838-1921) a prolific author mainly of children’s books, though she also wrote novels for adults, like this one—a quiet story based on plausible, entertaining misunderstandings of character and purpose.

“It is a very enjoyable book. The characters of the young men and girls who are the principal persons in the little narrative drama are, in the main, admirably delineated; . . . and the conversation, which is an important element in a tale of this kind, is specially excellent.” Academy, October 15, 1892

“The characters are well drawn, the incidents probable and well led up to, and the story interesting.  But the strong point of the work, after all, lies in the character drawing, especially in the subtle delineation of shades of diversity in disposition, amongst a family where all the members are chiefly remarkable for their amiability and worth.” Westminster Review, July 1893

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