When the landed gentry family the Plummers fall into insolvency, the only recourse is to sell their opulent home and retreat into a smaller property next door. Unfortunately, the wealthy Fletcher family who has purchased the home is severely tainted by trade, as Mr. Fletcher earned his money as a mercer (a dealer in textiles). While the baronet is determined not to snub the new neighbors, his wife has a different outlook altogether. Thus the stage is set for James Plummer, the second son and often-absent rector of the neighborhood, to encounter Julia Fletcher, the hoydenish overly tall daughter of the mercer as she is swinging her legs sitting on the gate of their new property….
The movie of Mr. Malcolm’s List follows generally all the same plot points as the book, except for removing some of the more outrageous scenes and trimming down the ending. But here is the major difference: the movie tries to be an actual romance and not a spoof….
Lady Sydney Hathwell has traveled all the way to America to meet her betrothed–only to to discover that he is a self-important, womanizing cad whom she could never love. Orphaned and alone, she disappears to the only place she can think of, the Texas ranch of her mother’s American brother, an uncle whom she has never met. Uncle Fuller’s heart is as good as gold, but he’s adamantly opposed to having women on the ranch. Mistaking Sydney’s androgynous name for a boy’s name, he invites his “nephew” out to the ranch….
When Blythe Hedley returns home from the French court, she discovers that her father, the Earl of Northumberland, is far more enmeshed in the Jacobite cause than suspected. With the new Hanoverian king installed in London, the Jacobites are agitating to bring back the Stuart king from over the water. Blythe’s father sends her for safekeeping to the Scottish castle of her godfather, the Earl of Wedderburn. But the only trouble is that the old earl has just passed away, and it’s his imposing son Everard who holds the title now….
Lily Ellsworth loves being surrounded my suitors. Tall, short, plain, handsome–it gives her a thrill to be the center of masculine attention. Of course, she knows she will eventually have to choose one of them and settle down to the humdrum existence of married life, and when that time comes, she’s resolved to accept Mr. Gilbert Wright, the dashing, wealthy, not-very-articulate-but-decently-handsome owner of the race horse Slapbang….
When their father dies of an apoplectic attack, the four Summers sisters and their mother must find a way to earn an income if they are to avoid descending into utter poverty. The gentlewomen have the blessing of owning their own large house in the ocean village of Sea View, and at the prompting of their managing older sister Sarah, they resolve to become a popular seaside boarding house….
There is something so satisfying about finishing a great book and knowing that you have another one, the next in series, waiting for you….
The Irish are out of favor in 1870s London. When a packed pleasure steamer named the Princess Alice going up the Thames crashes into a coal barge, the papers and the public are ready to blame the Irish Republican Brotherhood for terrorism. Acting police superintendent Michael Corravan has enough to do with the violence going on his home streets threatening the neighborhood shop of his adoptive family the Doyles, but now he must contend with double-crossing Irish street gangs, political intrigues surrounding the plan for Irish Home Rule, and questions about his own loyalties….
Julia Wychwood has led the life of an invalid for as long as she can remember. Her parents, obsessed with tonics and bedrest and bloodletting, refuse to let her live a normal life, and whenever her social anxiety causes her to seek solitude and a good book, she must then contend with the unsavory remedies of the family doctor….
This set of three Victorian novellas were loosely connected by their seasonal setting and the fact that they are romances, but other than that, they felt very distinct in atmosphere and theme….