The History Of Sir Henry
Sir Henry Morland, the infamous scoundrel, has reserved all of his affection for his orphaned niece, Lady Frances Pleckham, whom he has not seen since she was five years old. One year before Lady Frances comes of age to inherit her fortune, Sir Henry insists that she come to live with him. They soon discover that although they are alike in intelligence and temperament, their views are diametrically opposed. While Lady Frances has a strong affection for her uncle, she also has a strong aversion to his lifestyle. Sir Henry tries to force Lady Frances into a marriage that is abhorrent to her. In response, she flees from his home and takes refuge as a lady’s maid to a stranger, Miss Avenington. Miss Avenington is living in the home of her uncle, Mr. Beauclerk, who happens to be an enemy of Sir Henry. When they learn of Lady Frances’ disguise, they decide to protect her, eventually causing Lady Frances and Mr. Beauclerk to make a marriage of convenience that is not very convenient for either of them.
This first novel by Netta Cruse, set in eighteenth century England, is written in the style of Jane Austen. The formal language of conversation between the characters, which may be hard for the modern reader to follow at times, is necessary to capture the formality of the age. This is a cleverly and beautifully written novel. It will be a pleasure to await Ms. Cruse’s next offering.