It is novel in which Paula Power inherits a medieval castle from her industrialist father who has purchased it from the aristocratic De Stancy family. She employs two architects, one local and one, George Somerset, newly qualified from London. Somerset represents modernity in the novel. In the village there is an amateur photographer, William Dare, who is the illegitimate son of Captain De Stancy, an impoverishe scion of the family. Captain De Stancy represents a dream of medieval nobility to Paula. She is attracted to both men for their different virtues but William Dare decides to intervene to promote his father in her affections. He fakes the telegram and photograph to make it appear Somerset is leading a dissolute lifestyle.
Favorite Thomas Hardy Book
Wow! This book totally surprised me. First the title does not exactly roll off the tongue. Also it is not as well known as Mayor of Casterbridge or Jude the Obsure. I believe readers should give this book a fair chance. The plot is interesting, character development and setting successfully steal the reader away to a faraway time and place. But what I really enjoyed the most was the strong female protagonist, Paula Power. By the way, I am not a feminist. Also, I picture Hardy writing this in the 1800s, when a strong woman such as this would be very rare. Also, it was interesting to see Sommerset mature as an architect and a young man. Anyway, one of the best books I have read in a very long time.