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Mary Cholmondeley was an English novelist. Her first novel was The Danvers Jewels (1887), a detective story that won her a small following. It was followed by Sir Charles Danvers (1889), Diana Tempest (1893) and A Devotee (1897).
The satirical Red Pottage (1899) was a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic and continues to be reprinted occasionally. It satirizes religious hypocrisy and the narrowness of country life, and was denounced from a London pulpit as immoral. It was equally sensational because it "explored the issues of female sexuality and vocation, recurring topics in late-Victorian debates about the New Women."
Later works such as Moth and Rust (1902) and Notwithstanding (1913) were less successful. The Lowest Rung (1908) and The Romance of his Life (1921) were collections of stories.
The Romance of His Life
Moth and Rust
The Lowest Rung
Diana Tempest, Volume I (of 3)
Diana Tempest, Volume II (of 3)
Diana Tempest, Volume III (of 3)
The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers
Miss Cholmondeley's latest work is a splendid study of the action of remorse. The chivalrous victim immured in an Italian prison must have suffered indeed from an appreciation of the fickleness and weakness of woman.
Red Pottage follows a period in the lives of two friends, Rachel West and Hester Gresley. Rachel is a wealthy heiress who falls in love with the weak-willed Hugh Scarlett after he has broken off an affair with Lady Newhaven (which he does not originally realize has been discovered by her husband). Hester, a novelist, lives with her judgmental brother, the pompous vicar of the fictional village of Warpington. Hester's brother disapproves of her writing and eventually burns the manuscript of a novel she has been writing. This leads Hester into a prolonged nervous illness. Scarlett who has not been entirely frank with Rachel about his past commits suicide when his dishonourable behaviour is revealed to her and she breaks off their engagement.