Monthly Archives: December 2018

The Pretty Lady

The Pretty Lady by Arnold Bennett

The Pretty Lady by Arnold Bennett

The Pretty Lady’ is considered to be one of Bennett’s most revealing and under-rated works. It is the story of a French prostitute, Christine, who has escaped from wartime Ostend, and set herself up in business in London. Though a refugee, she demands no pity; she is self-sufficient, practical and realistic. Christine is not a harpy preying on innocent soldiers, but a canny businesswoman, doing the best she can with the opportunities life has given her. Her main relationship is with G.J. Hoape, a wealthy man above the military age. Bennett in this novel presents a disturbing image of wartime society, fragmented, uneasy and divided. There are references to industrial unrest and to social injustices, and hints that the British press is less than frank about the war.

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An International Episode

An International Episode by Henry James

An International Episode by Henry James

Two men visiting the US from London meet a pair of charming women who return the visit the following year in London. Romantic intrigues, miscommunication and cultural faux pas abound in this short but delightful novel.

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The Hawk of Egypt

The Hawk of Egypt by Joan Conquest

The Hawk of Egypt by Joan Conquest

A tragic love triangle between a beautiful English girl, an English gentleman, and a half-English, half-Egyptian plays out among the ruins and under the desert stars of 1920s era Egypt. The saga ends, as all love triangles must, in tragedy upon the desert sands.

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The Mountain Girl

The Mountain Girl by Payne Erskine

The Mountain Girl by Payne Erskine

A delightful love-story, genuinely American in feeling and treatment. The story is stirring, the heroine is ideal.

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The Shuttle

The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Rosalie Vanderpoel, the daughter of an American multimillionaire marries an impoverished English baronet and goes to live in England. She all but loses contact with her family in America. Years later her younger sister Bettina, beautiful, intelligent and extremely rich, goes to England to find what has happened to her sister. She finds Rosalie shabby and dispirited, cowed by her husband’s ill treatment. Bettina sets about to rectify matters. She meets Lord Mount Dunstan, an impoverished earl, who lives nearby and they fall in love, but he cannot speak because it would look as if he were after her money…

This is a romance but it is also about the rejuvenating effects of Americans and American money on a somewhat decadent English aristocracy

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