This great international romance relates the story of an American girl who, in rescuing her sister from the ruins of her marriage to an Englishman of title, displays splendid qualities of courage, tact and restraint. As a study of American womanhood of modern times, the character of Bettina Vanderpoel stands alone in literature. As a love story, the account of her experience is magnificent. The masterly handling, the glowing style of the book, give it a literary rank to which very few modern novels have attained. (The fifth most popular book of 1908.)
America--particularly of New York--as a place where if one could make up one's mind to the plunge, one might marry one's sons profitably. At the outset it presented a field so promising as to lead to rashness and indiscretion on the part of persons not given to analysis of character and in consequence relying too serenely upon an ingenuousness which rather speedily revealed that it had its limits. Ingenuousness combining itself with remarkable alertness of perception on occasion, is rather American than English, and is, therefore, to the English mind, misleading.
At first younger sons, who "gave trouble" to their families, were sent out. Their names, their backgrounds of castles or manors, relatives of distinction, London seasons, fox hunting, Buckingham Palace and Goodwood Races, formed a picturesque allurement. That the castles and manors would belong to their elder brothers, that the relatives of distinction did not encourage intimacy with swarms of the younger branches of their families; that Lond
This enchanting author of children's tales proves herself an apt writer of adult novels as well in this story. It is a delightful read; a bit of a victorian-style romance; but more powerfully: a study of a period in history when the expectations of marriage were being changed by the unions between an old and new society. The marriages between British aristocracy and American heiresses proved to be a misunderstanding of societal morals and cultural expectations. This is a 'must read' for those interested in the cultural history of our joint nations.
A great story.
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