Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lady Rose's Daughter - by Mary Augusta Ward

Free US/UK Kindle Classic

Lady Rose's Daughter is a novel by the popular British writer (born in Australia) Mary Augusta Ward.  It was the bestselling novel in the States in 1903. (US Edition)  (UK Edition) 

It is the story of a young woman who is secretary to a cruel employer who humiliates her.

Lady Henry had treated her companion with a contemptuous and haughty ill-humor. Face to face with her mistress, Mademoiselle Le Breton had borne it with submission, almost with servility. But now, as she stood silent behind the blind old lady who had flouted her, her wonderfully expressive face, her delicate frame, spoke for her with an energy not to be mistaken. Her dark eyes blazed. She stood for anger; she breathed humiliation.

The young woman's mother was not married to her father, giving her a very low social status . . . but her face is familiar to one of the guests in the house.

Sir Wilfrid pondered a moment. "Yes. Her face haunted me, when I first saw it. But--no; no, I can't put any names."
Lady Henry gave a little snort of disappointment.
"Well, think. You knew her mother quite well. You have known her grandfather all your life. If you're going on to the Foreign Office, as I suppose you are, you'll probably see him to-night. She is uncannily like him. As to her father, I don't know--but he was a rolling-stone of a creature; you very likely came across him."
"I knew her mother and her father?" said Sir Wilfrid, astonished and pondering.
"They had no right to be her mother and her father," said Lady Henry, with grimness."

Ah, I know what the public liked in 1903 in the US and the UK!  A romance, a mystery and (I expect) a happy ending, not unlike today.

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