"Bridget Malwyn, the illegitimate daughter of a wild Irish peer, is brought to live amongst the decaying splendours of his castle in County Galway, until his death in her sixteenth year. When his puritanical successor turns her out penniless, she is forced to work in a draper's shop in Bedfordshire.
"The restrictions and humiliations of her new status gives Bridget an exaggerated sense of the value of the life she has left, and she is determined - with an intensity that later betrays here - to recapture the spirit and status of her early years."
"Boyd discerns tragic possibilities in a story which he tells with wit and a lively sense of the absurdities and contradictions of human nature." - Brenda Niall, from the introduction
"pure pleasure reading, exquisitely accomplished and light as air, a joy..." Pamela Hansford Johnson, Daily Telegraph
"fullness of character, incident and warmth..." - New York Times Book Review
Miss Hobson, formerly governess to the family of O'Rourke in Co. Galway, after many pleading and threatening letters to Lord Malwyn, Mr. O'Rourke's neighbour, in the autumn of 1875 had a reply. Among Miss Hobson's threats had been one that she would act in a way as to cause his lordship embarrassment. Just as she was wondering whether to end her life, and that, barely begun, of her baby girl, or whether to undertake the extremely difficult task of embarrassing Lord Malwyn, she had this letter:Dear Miss Hobson,
From the Penguin paperback edition, 1985.
This edition was published with an introduction by Brenda Niall.
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Last modified: October 24, 2003.