Publisher Description

Anne Woodford is a typical heroine, a basically good girl, but with a flaw in her character that requires correction. Most of her actions are well-meaning and well-judged. Her childhood love for Charles Archfield has to be overcome, for at eighteen he is married off to a spoilt childish heiress. She realizes that a marriage to Peregrine would be disastrous for both of them. Charles intervenes to save her from Peregrine, and she sees the apparently fatal result of the duel, but keeps the secret, until she has to reveal all at his trial. Before that her pride and ambition had caused her to reject a safe home with the religious Lady Russell in favor of a post at the court of King James. There she becomes an upper servant, and though loyally accompanying the royal family in their exile, she is neglected and rejected on account of her religion. Charles, now a widower, declares his love for her and before departing to join the Imperial army, enables her to return to England. She has learnt her lesson, and overcome her pride, finding happiness in the care of Charles' motherless child. There is a large cast of characters. Richard Cromwell, the son of the Protector, appears briefly, as does Dr James. In France she brings back characters from Stray Pearls, set forty years earlier, and introduces their descendants. The leading characters in A Reputed Changeling are skillfully drawn, and the minor characters are adequately shown. The plot is ingenious, linking public events with the seven year cycles of the changeling, though with some stretching of dates. Historical happenings are accurately described, and there is a convincing picture of Hampshire life in the late seventeenth century. Most of the action is set in an area well-known to C. M. Yonge, and her detailed knowledge gives added realism to her descriptions. Religious discussion and thought are prominent, but the moral teaching is enforced through the action, and the recognition of their failings by those concerned.

Fiction & Literature
24 May
Public Domain

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