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Chantry House   By: (1823-1901)

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Chantry House by Charlotte Mary Yonge is a captivating novel that takes readers on a journey back in time to Victorian England. Set against the backdrop of a picturesque English village and its surrounding countryside, the story follows the lives of a group of family members who reside in the enchanting Chantry House.

At the heart of the narrative is the Calmore family, a deeply connected and prosperous clan whose lives are full of secrets, intrigues, and unexpected twists. The author skillfully weaves together multiple storylines, creating a rich tapestry of characters and relationships that leaves the reader engrossed from start to finish.

Yonge's writing is immersive, with exquisite attention to detail that vividly brings the setting to life. Her descriptions of the lush meadows, rolling hills, and cozy interiors of Chantry House make the reader feel as if they too are part of the story. Moreover, the author's meticulous research is clearly evident, as the historical accuracy adds another layer of depth to the narrative.

The characters in Chantry House are complex and richly developed, each with their own distinct voice and personality. From the headstrong and fiercely independent Margaret to the stern patriarch, Sir Richard, each character contributes to the overall complexity and depth of the story. Yonge masterfully explores the various tensions and dynamics within the family, delving into themes of love, duty, and sacrifice.

One of the highlights of this novel is the attention to moral dilemmas and ethical questions faced by the characters. Yonge skillfully presents thought-provoking scenarios that challenge the reader's own understanding of right and wrong. These moral dilemmas serve to heighten the emotional depth of the book and keep the reader engaged throughout.

While Chantry House is undoubtedly a character-driven novel, the plot is also infused with mystery and suspense. Secrets are slowly revealed, building up the tension and keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. Yonge masterfully balances the pacing, ensuring that the mysteries unfold at just the right pace, enticing the reader to keep turning the pages.

In conclusion, Chantry House is a beautifully written and meticulously researched novel that transports readers to a bygone era. Charlotte Mary Yonge's skillful storytelling, well-developed characters, and thought-provoking themes make this book a compelling and memorable read. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or simply enjoy a well-crafted tale, Chantry House is sure to captivate and delight.

First Page:



'And if it be the heart of man Which our existence measures, Far longer is our childhood's span Than that of manly pleasures.

'For long each month and year is then, Their thoughts and days extending, But months and years pass swift with men To time's last goal descending.'


The united force of the younger generation has been brought upon me to record, with the aid of diaries and letters, the circumstances connected with Chantry House and my two dear elder brothers. Once this could not have been done without more pain than I could brook, but the lapse of time heals wounds, brings compensations, and, when the heart has ceased from aching and yearning, makes the memory of what once filled it a treasure to be brought forward with joy and thankfulness. Nor would it be well that some of those mentioned in the coming narrative should be wholly forgotten, and their place know them no more.

To explain all, I must go back to a time long before the morning when my father astonished us all by exclaiming, 'Poor old James Winslow! So Chantry House is came to us after all!' Previous to that event I do not think we were aware of the existence of that place, far less of its being a possible inheritance, for my parents would never have permitted themselves or their family to be unsettled by the notion of doubtful contingencies... Continue reading book >>

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