Date of publication
Publisher's Note: This anonymous novel of the years 1870-76 is something of a literary conundrum and will, we believe, cause much discussion. When it came to us the style seemed faintly familiar and we suspected who might have written it. It seemed to us well worth publishing, both as a literary curiosity and also because it is interesting to se a theme that might well have been chosen by the most modern of present-day novelists treated in the Victorian manner.
Young Margaret Mardon is so desperate to escape her unhappy family home that she determines to accept the first marriage proposal offered. A suitor appears in the form of 64-year-old widower Sir Charles Bazalgette. Margaret accepts his proposal with alacrity: she will take on his large house, Castle Hill, its long-established staff, and his five children. Despite the misgivings of her unmarried Aunt Mardon, the marriage takes place, and Margaret sets out to make the best of things with reasonable success. Margaret is somewhat disappointed in the lack of companionship she finds with her spouse, whose preference is to spend as much time alone as possible, but she does not let it bother her. She deals sensibly with the less amiable of her stepchildren, and with those servants who prove somewhat difficult; she is not much taken aback when she discovers that she is, in fact, the third Mrs Bazalgette, and that she has an unexpected stepson a few years older than herself. She is only seriously disturbed when she she comes to know Charlie, this stepson, and realises what sacrifices her light-hearted marriage of convenience actually entails. She falls in love with him, and her feelings are reciprocated. Margaret’s sister Julia, meanwhile, falls for, and eventually marries, a rather limp poet, Theodore Blanden, who favours the Chaucerian style.
Victorian marriage motherhood sex