The Visits of Elizabeth

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Author: Elinor Glyn
Published: 1901
Language: English
Wordcount: 59,111 / 165 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 82.5
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,009
Added to site: 2005.12.15 12242
Genre: Romance

An epistolary novel, following the observations made by a young debutante to her mother - the marriages, morals, fashion, and homes of high society are revealed, along with the intimate, clandestine relationships between those at the top of the social ladder. Elizabeth may be naive and innocent but she sees it all!

Show Excerpt

out of Sir Trevor to-night after dinner--I had not a chance yesterday--as I am sure it is interesting. Mrs. Smith looked at me as if she wanted to poison me, and I can't think why specially, can you?

Twelve p.m.--I asked Sir Trevor if the house is haunted, and he said, "God bless my soul, no!" and so I told him, and he nearly had a fit; so I know it is, but I am not a bit frightened.--Your affectionate daughter, Elizabeth.

Nazeby Hall, Sunday.

Dearest Mamma,--Agnès and I go to Aunt Mary's by the 10:30 train to-morrow, and I am not a bit sorry, although I have enjoyed myself, and now I begin to feel quite at home with every one--at least, some of them; but such a tiresome thing happened last night. It was like this: After dinner it was so hot that we all went out on the terrace, and, as soon as we got there, Mrs. Smith and Lady Doraine and the rest said it was too cold, and went in again; but the moon was pretty, so I stayed alone, and presently Lord Valmo


Average Rating of 4 from 2 reviews: ****
Leah A. Zeldes

This epistolary novel about a beautiful, blue-blooded, but somewhat dim young English debutante has many slyly amusing moments, but it all goes on too long.

Elizabeth, whose mother stays home suffering with neuralgia, is paying a series of visits to her noble relatives across England and France. Her mother has coached her beforehand, but people behave so oddly that she is convinced that things must have changed from what her mother recalls.

She recounts her experiences artlessly in a series of letters home, describing incidents fully but naively missing the implications of sexual intrigues going on around her. Her obliviousness is funny at first, but after a while, it becomes tiresome. The letters are all one way — we don't see Mamma's answers, and Elizabeth almost never refers to letters received. Ultimately, she remains just as innocent and unaware at the end of the novel as at its outset.

Linda Otto

Another Elinor Glyn winner. Light, witty, elegant prose that leaves you wanting more. Enjoy!

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