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  • There came, scuffling along the field-path from the village, as fast as her dilapidated shoes permitted her, a wan-looking, undersized girl. She had almost reached the pond, when a boy considerably taller and stronger than the boy on the stile came flying down the field on the left, and planted himself in her way."Now then, little toad! Do you want another buffeting?""Oh, please, sir, don't stop me!" she cried, beginning to sob loudly. "Father's dying, and mother said I was to run and tell them at the farm. Please let me go by.""Did I not order you yesterday to keep out of these fields?" asked the tall boy. "The lane and roads are open to you; how dare you come this way? I promised you I'd shake the inside out of you if I caught you here again, and now I'll do it.""I say," called out at this juncture the lad on the stile, "keep your hands off her."The child's assailant turned sharply at the sound. He had not seen that any one was there.
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  • MRS. HALLIBURTON'S TROUBLES is one of the less sensational novels written by Mrs. Henry Wood, which is to say that only half the characters have to contend with debt, seduction, murder, roguery, deception, and that worst of all Victorian fates, sinking below their class. These are the troubles that beset those without the strength of will and sterling moral character of the novel's heroine, the widowed Mrs. Halliburton, who supports her children with nothing more than unremitting labor and a belief in God. Mrs. Halliburton's iron will contrasts with the dissolute lifestyle of the Halliburtons' cousins, the Dares, who suffer one scandal and disgrace after another. In the end, of course, God helps only those who helped themselves. Although she is all but forgotten in modern literary circles, Mrs. Henry Wood was one of the most famous novelists of the Victorian period, with a sales record that rivaled Dickens. Where Dickens portrayed social forces as well as characters, however, Wood emphasized the power of the individual. For her, Mrs. Halliburton's poverty is an opportunity to explore the idea of character and the ways in which people determine their own fate. In this Mrs. Henry Wood anticipated the rags-to-riches novels of Horatio Alger.
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  • The third and final volume of Mrs Henry Wood's collected supernatural storiesMrs. Henry Wood was one of a notable cadre of proficient authors of all manner of fiction, much of which appeared serially in the numerous periodicals of the Victorian period. Ellen Wood (formerly Price) was born in Worcestershire in 1815 and is principally remembered for as the author of 'East Lynne'-one of the most popular sensation novels of the mid-19th century. She wrote over 30 novels as well as many shorter works of mystery, crime and suspense. Her supernatural fiction has endured by virtue of its lasting quality and has been acclaimed by aficionados and critics alike, including the not lightly given approbation of M. R. James. The Victorian public's appetite for stories of the weird and ghostly was insatiable and huge amounts of it was published. This resulted in a golden age for the genre. Almost every popular fiction writer of the period tried their hand at ghostly or terrifying stories, including some of the most notable authors of the time such as Dickens, R. L. Stevenson, Kipling and Conan Doyle. Some became well known and well regarded 'specialists' in the ghostly tale; foremost among these were women writers who had a particular talent for supernatural themes. Among the first rank of these was Mrs Henry Wood and this substantial Leonaur three volume collection is probably the first comprehensive collection of her other worldly fiction to be published.This final ...
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  • I said that I did not know Mrs. Liscom was going to take boarders; I was very much surprised. "I suppose she thought she would earn some money and have some extra things," said Mrs. Jones. "It must have been that," said Mrs. Ketchum, panting -- she was almost out of breath -- "for, of course, the Liscoms don't need the money." I laughed and said I thought not. I felt a little pride about it, because Mrs. Liscom was a second cousin of my husband, and he used to think a great deal of her. "They must own that nice place clear, if it ain't going to burn to the ground, and have something in the bank besides," assented Mrs. Peter Jones.
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  • A short story by Joanna Briscoe from the collection Reader, I Married Him: Stories inspired by Jane Eyre.In ‘To Hold’, a woman looks back on her life, which has been defined by three marriages.Edited by Tracy Chevalier, the full collection, Reader, I Married Him, brings together some of the finest and most creative voices in fiction today, to celebrate and salute the strength and lasting relevance of Charlotte Brontë’s game-changing novel and its beloved narrator.
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