Patricia Brent, Spinster

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Author: Herbert Jenkins
Published: 1918
Language: English
Wordcount: 68,227 / 208 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 70.3
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 1,616
Added to site: 2010.08.05 28642

A bright, pleasing English love story. Patricia is young and attractive and just naturally invents a fiance so that the other "paying guests" will stop pitying her lonely state. Romance follows promptly when the fiance insists upon materializing, much to Patricia's consternation.

Show Excerpt

re I can't remember," said Patricia, "I never could remember numbers."

"Not remember the number of the battalion in which your fiancé is?" There was incredulous disapproval in Miss Wangle's voice.

"No! I'm awfully sorry," replied Patricia, "I suppose it's very horrid of me; but I'll go upstairs and look it up if you like."

"Oh please don't trouble," said Miss Wangle icily. "I remember the dear bishop once saying----"

"And I suppose after dinner you'll go to a theatre," interrupted Mrs. Mosscrop-Smythe, for the first time in the memory of the oldest guest indifferent to the bishop and what he had said, thought, or done.

"Oh, no, it's war time," said Patricia, "we shall just dine quietly at the Quadrant Grill-room."

A meaning glance passed between Mrs. Mosscrop-Smythe and Miss Wangle. Why she had fixed upon the Quadrant Grill-room Patricia could not have said.

"And now," said Patricia, "I must run upstairs and see that my best bib and tucker are in proper


Average Rating of 4.8 from 5 reviews: *****
Leah A. Zeldes

Charming. It may take a bit of doing to get into the social and moral sensibilities of World War I England, and the basic plot has been repeated enough that it's predictable, but it's still a lovely story.

Henry L. Ratliff

(1918) Romance / Humor (Romantic Comedy)

R: * * * * *

Plot bullets

  • Patricia is young, but getting older, is living in a boarding house with older boarders, is unmarried and has no steady boyfriend. In other words, Patricia is a spinster. If something doesn't happen to shake things up, she will remain so.

  • She overhears the tenets refer to her situation and decides to teach them a lesson. One night at the supper table, she announces that she is engaged to a handsome soldier. A lie, but that will hopefully stem the gossip.

  • The mischief is started and she soon finds she must follow through. She is followed to a fake rendezvous and hastily decides to gain the temporary assistance of a handsome soldier sitting alone in a restaurant.

  • To her the meeting is a onetime occurance, to get her out of a jam. To the soldier, who turns out to be Lord Peter Bowen, it is more. He falls in love with her at first sight.

  • Peter's obsession with her, her fellow boarders, friends and the soldier's family all conspire, with different levels of knowledge of the true situation, to facilitate a marital union.

  • Patricia is flattered, but at the same time rebellious that others are interfering in her life. Her approach to the situation becomes a battle between her will and others and a tug-of-war between her heart and mind.

  • Will her stubbornness and willful attitude towards this interference keep her from the happy life that should be hers? Will she always be known as: Patricia Brent, Spinster?


A lovely book. Lighthearted and well written; I enjoyed every minute of it. Humour as well and a delight to read.

Hazel Pethig

This is a wonderful book. A woman who steps out of social convention and takes charge of her own life and happiness. It is well written, and kept me interested the whole way through the book.


A light, sparkling story set in WWI London. In order to halt the catty remarks of her fellow-boarders, single Patricia persuades a stranger to pretend to be her fiance for an evening out. To Patricia's chagrin, he decides to make the charade come to pass, enlisting the aid of everyone around Patricia. Hilarity and awkward moments ensue, creating a story mixing the comfortable humor and romance of Anne of Green Gables with the wit of Oscar Wilde.

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