In spite of the disapproval of friends and relatives Elinor Dennistoun marries the Honorable Philip Compton, a handsome, fascinating man, who even in his own "fast" set is called a "scamp." Before they are married Elinor saves him from the results of one of his crimes by a falsehood, of which at the time she does not realize the meaning. After the failure of their marriage, and they are separated, this falsehood again plays a part in the lives of both.
eaten about the head and was confused with the hurry and storm of the blows. She had always turned to him in all her difficulties, that was true: and he had always stood by her, and often, in the freemasonry of youth, had thought her right and vindicated her capacity to judge for herself. He had been called often on this errand, and he had never refused to obey. For Elinor was very wilful, she had always been wilful--"a rosebud set about with wilful thorns, But sweet as English air could make her, she." He had come to her aid many a time. But he had never thought to be called upon by her in such a way as this. He folded the letter up carefully and put it in a drawer. Usually when he had a letter from Elinor he put it into his pocket, for the satisfaction of reading it over again: for she had a fantastic way of writing, adding little postscripts which escaped the eye at first, and which it was pleasant to find out afterwards. But with this letter he did not do so. He put it in a drawer of his writing-table, so
This is one of Mrs. Oliphant's finest novels. The portrait of the mother/daughter relationship is beautiful. Well worth reading.