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Clara Maynard The True and the False - A Tale of the Times   By: (1814-1880)

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Clara Maynard; The True and the False A Tale of the Times, By W.H.G. Kingston.

This is a short book, about a quarter of the length of a typical Kingston novel. Clara is the daughter of a retired Royal Navy Captain, who owns a large yacht, a cutter. She can take a large number of guests to sea, even more than the cutter in Marryat's "The Three Cutters". They use the yacht as a means of getting to a picnic spot on a beach, where they are met by even more people, including the new incumbent of the local parish, the family who own the presentation to the living, and a couple of Roman priests who are staying with them.

In chapter two Clara's father dies after a series of strokes. Her betrothed young man, who had been at the picnic, returns on Army service to India, and she falls under the influence of the new vicar of the parish, who persuades her to enter a nunnery. This is an absolute disaster, as the cruelty and lack of goodness and charity of what went on in that nunnery is quite intolerable.

Eventually she breaks free, and is reunited with her fa ily. Her betrothed comes back, she marries him and all is well.



The blue waters of the British Channel sparkled brightly in the rays of the sun, shining forth from a cloudless sky, as a light breeze from the northward filled the sails of a small yacht which glided smoothly along the southern coast of England. At the helm of the little vessel stood her owner, Captain Maynard, a retired naval officer. Next to his fair young daughter, Clara, the old sailor looked upon his yacht as one of the most beautiful things in existence. Though her crew consisted but of two men and a boy, and she measured scarcely five and twenty tons, he declared that if it were necessary he would sail round the world in her without the slightest hesitation.

"Flatten in the jib, and take a pull at the main sheet, my lads, and we shall run into the bay without a tack, if the wind holds as it does now," he sang out.

The men, as they came aft to execute the latter order, had to disturb some of the passengers, of whom there were several, seated on cloaks round the skylight, or standing up holding on to the weather rigging, or leaning against the main boom. Clara Maynard, accustomed to yachting, promptly moved to windward, aided by Harry Caulfield, a young military officer, who had ridden over that morning to Luton, for the pleasure of making a trip on board the yacht; but her aunt, Miss Sarah Pemberton, looked somewhat annoyed at being asked to shift her seat. Harry, however, came to her assistance, and placed a camp stool for her against the weather bulwarks.

"I am sorry, Sarah, to inconvenience you," said the captain, good naturedly, "but we haven't as much room on board the Ariadne as on the deck of a line of battle ship."

The captain had called his yacht after the first ship in which he went to sea.

The cutter having rounded a lofty point, a small and beautiful bay opened out ahead; and the wind remaining steady, without making another tack, she stood in directly for it.

"We could not have chosen a more lovely spot for our picnic," exclaimed Clara. "See, Aunt Sarah I am sure you will be pleased when you get there. Watch those picturesque cliffs, ever changing in shape as we sail along and see those breezy downs above them, and the fine yellow sands below, and that pretty valley with the old fisherman's cottage on one side, and the clear stream running down its centre, and leaping over the rocks in a tiny cascade."

"I shall be very glad to get safe on shore," answered Miss Pemberton, who had been persuaded, much against her will, to venture for the first time on board the little Ariadne ... Continue reading book >>

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