The story is a blending of the romance and adventure of the middle ages with nineteenth century men and women; and they are creations of flesh and blood, and not mere pictures of past centuries. The story is about Jack Winthrop, a newspaper man. Mr. MacGrath's finest bit of character drawing is seen in Hillars, the broken down newspaper man, and Jack's chum.
e, but they make the wheels of the social organization run smoother. For instance, if I met a strange woman and she told me that I was handsome, I shouldn't be able to speak again the whole evening. On the other hand, a beautiful woman, after you say that you are delighted to meet her, expects the very next remark to concern her good looks."
"Your insight is truly remarkable," she said, the dimple continuing its elusive manoeuvres. "Hush; here comes Carmen."
And our voices grew faint in the swell of melody. Mrs. Wentworth was entranced; her daughter was fondly gazing at the back of her fiancÚ's head; Phyllis had turned her face from me to the stage. As for myself, I was not particularly interested in the cigarette girl. It was running through my head that the hour had arrived. I patted my gloves for a moment, then I drew a long breath.
"Phyllis!" said I. There was a quaver in my voice. Perhaps I had not spoken loud enough. "Phyllis!" said I again.
She turned quickly and gave me an inquir
Why are so many 19th- and early-20th-century novels about royalty? I suppose there were more of them around in those days of duchies and principalities, and they drew the kind of interest that today is accorded to pop stars.
Anyway, this long and convoluted novel follows Jack Winthrop, a newspaperman who gets turned down by a society girl and takes a foreign correspondent job to get over it. He's also detailed to try to dry out another correspondent who's been drowning in alcohol his own romantic sorrows over a capricious princess. But once overseas, Winthrop gets mixed up with an uncommon barmaid bearing a curious resemblance to both his lost love and the royal lady.
The plot also brings in an evil prince, an autocratic king, duels, long-forgotten conspiracies and all sorts of melodrama for those who enjoy that sort of thing, but suspension of disbelief becomes difficult to maintain.