Geoffrey Moncton: or, the Faithless Guardian
Seller ID: 895
New York: DeWitt & Davenport, 1855. First edition (viii, 362, adverts). Octavo, in brown cloth with impressed decoration and gilt titles on spine. Skillfully rebacked; tear on p. 187 repaired, some discoloured pages, especially early and late. 'Mrs. Moodie' was writing for the pot when she composed this novel of infidelity in language reflective of prevalent middle class sensibilities. 'Angling' is a 'gentle craft' and the fish are the 'finny tribe'. Those readers were fond of Gothic romance, and Susanna heaped their plates with it. When a distraught Alice Morningston throws herself in among the 'finny tribe' at Sir Alexander's favourite fishing hole, Nature reflects Alice's turmoil: 'Now all was black and lowering; lightnings pierced with their arrowy tongues the heavy foliage of the frowning woods, and loud peals of thunder reverberated among the distant hills; and now a solitary sunbeam struggled through a rift in the heavy cloud, and lighted up the gloomy scene with a smile of celestial beauty.' Yes, Alice is rescued, 'To spring to the bank, to plunge into the stream, and, as she rose to the surface, to bear the wretched girl to the shore, was but the work of a moment.' Susanna knew what really happens, and you shouldn't try this at home. Quite a decent copy of a scarce work by a better and more important writer than is to be found here.
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