Dr. Rumsey's Patient

A Very Strange Story

Cover image for


Author: L.T. Meade (Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith)
Published: 1896
Language: English
Wordcount: 72,649 / 205 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 63.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 772
Added to site: 2010.12.02
mnybks.net#: 29797
Origin: gutenberg.org

Dr. Rumsey's Patient is young Squire Awdrey, whose family laboured under an hereditary curse. It brought an extraordinary loss of memory for matters of grave moment, combined with perfect remembrance of minor details. Two undergraduates, staying at the village inn, are greatly attracted by the innkeeper's niece. The girl is the village beauty and has secretly set her heart on the young Squire, though she amuses herself with the undergraduates at the inn. Young Frere becomes madly in love with the girl, and conceives a jealous passion against Awdrey. He attacks him in a wood, Awdrey defends himself and accidentally kills Frere. The family curse falls on him, he forgets what has happened, and the innkeeper's niece, who has seen the struggle, commits perjury to save him. Frere's companion is convicted and sentenced to penal servitude. How Awdrey recovers his memory after some painful years and clears the condemned man the book itself must tell. It is as exciting as the detective romance which wins such wide favour in the present day, and will certainly supply all the excitement which a reader can desire. Margaret Douglas, who marries Awdrey, is a very noble character--her portrait is the gem of the book.

Show Excerpt

e shan't kiss me. I--I'll have nothing to do with him." She burst into tears.

"I'll see you home," said Awdrey.


The Awdreys of "The Court" could trace their descent back to the Norman Conquest. They were a proud family with all the special characteristics which mark races of long descent. Among the usual accompaniments of race, was given to them the curse of heredity. A strange and peculiar doom hung over the house. It had descended now from father to son during many generations. How it had first raised its gorgon head no one could tell. People said that it had been sent as a punishment for the greed of gold. An old ancestor, more than a hundred and fifty years ago, had married a West Indian heiress. She had colored blood in her veins, a purse of enormous magnitude, a deformed figure, and, what was more to the point, a particularly crooked and obtuse order of mind. She did her duty by her descendants, leaving to each of them a gift


Average Rating of 3 from 1 reviews: ***
Henry L. ratliff

(1896) Romance (Class/Sacrifice)

R: * * *
Plot bullets

  • The squire has an inherited condition that renders his memory ineffectual, with stress.

  • He commits murder, in self defense.

  • He has no recollection of the incident.

  • A young girl, in love with him, sees all, but keeps silent.

  • He marries another woman and over time, his family mental condition starts to take toll of his sanity.

  • A doctor is consulted and he becomes, Dr. Rumsey's Patient.

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