Novel 103: Charlotte Yonge, The Trial (1864)

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, A Family Group

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, A Family Group


A young man is falsely accused of murder.

This is the sequel to The Daisy Chain, of eight years before (Novel 053).  Here Yonge moves beyond the domestic, including not only a murder but also an American episode, in which a few of her characters seek prosperity in an Indiana swamp while the Civil War rages in the distance.

“With the old Pre-Raffaelite touch Miss Yonge paints her portraits, quietly, faithfully, and as completely as she can.” Reader, June 18, 1864

Yonge “understands how to work the machinery of a large family—to show how the different members act and react on each other—in a probable and calculable manner.” Saturday Review, August 20, 1864

“In these days of exciting fiction, it is difficult to sustain public interest without doing violence to the more refined tastes of educated readers.  Much insight into human nature is needed, and no small amount of artistic power.  These desiderata are well supplied by the authoress of this story, and those who remember and admired her elegant style of writing will not be disappointed in her new book.” Manchester Guardian, September 6, 1864

“No one can deny that this lady draws the inner and outer life of a certain limited class of characters with a truth and reality almost unrivalled, or that her pictures of struggling middle-class interiors are finished with the fidelity of a Dutch painting.” Westminster Review, October, 1864

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