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Cursed by a Fortune   By: (1831-1909)

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Cursed by a Fortune by George Manville Fenn is a gripping and suspenseful Victorian-era novel that captivated me from the very first page. Set in the bustling city of London, the story follows the life of Walter Gundicott, a young man who finds himself in the midst of an intricate web of family secrets, class divisions, and a curse that haunts his every step.

Fenn masterfully sets the stage with vivid descriptions of the Victorian era, immersing readers into the grimy streets, opulent mansions, and dark alleyways of London. The attention to detail is remarkable, making it easy to visualize the setting and imagine oneself walking alongside the characters.

The protagonist, Walter Gundicott, is a well-rounded and relatable character. As the story unfolds, we witness his growth and transformation, which is driven by his determination to uncover the truth about his family's curse. His portrayal is both realistic and endearing, expertly capturing the struggles faced by a young man caught between his aspirations and societal expectations.

One of the novel's strengths lies in its exploration of the rigid class system of the time. Fenn adeptly portrays the stark differences between the privileged upper class and the impoverished lower class, highlighting the inequality that defined Victorian society. Through Walter's journey, readers are exposed to the struggles and discrimination faced by those deemed beneath the elite, shedding light on the harsh realities of the era.

The plot is intricately woven, keeping readers engaged and eager to discover the secrets hidden beneath the surface. Fenn expertly intertwines mystery, romance, and adventure, creating an enthralling narrative filled with unexpected twists and turns. The pacing is near perfect, with each chapter leaving me yearning for more.

Fenn's writing style is evocative and descriptive, capturing the essence of the era while maintaining a sense of urgency that propels the story forward. His attention to detail adds depth and richness to the narrative, making it all the more immersive and enjoyable.

If there is one aspect that could be improved upon, it is the portrayal of female characters. While they do play important roles within the story, their development and agency often take a backseat to the male characters. A more nuanced exploration of their perspectives and experiences would have greatly enhanced the overall depth of the novel.

Overall, Cursed by a Fortune is a captivating Victorian-era novel that combines mystery, adventure, and romance in an enthralling tale. George Manville Fenn masterfully transports readers to a bygone era, immersing them in a world filled with secrets, curses, and unexpected surprises. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and is looking for a compelling and immersive read.

First Page:

Cursed by a Fortune, by George Manville Fenn.



"Yes, James; this is my last dying speech and confession."

"Oh, papa!" with a burst of sobbing.

"Be quiet, Kitty, and don't make me so miserable. Dying is only going to sleep when a man's tired out, as I am, with the worries of the world, money making, fighting for one's own, and disappointment. I know as well as old Jermingham that it's pretty nearly all over. I'm sorry to leave you, darling, but I'm worn out, and your dear mother has been waiting for nearly a year."

"Father, dearest father!" and two white arms clung round the neck of the dying man, as their owner sank upon her knees by the bedside.

"I'd stay for your sake, Kitty, but fate says no, and I'm so tired, darling, it will be like going into rest and peace. She always was an angel, Kitty, and she must be now; I feel as if I must see her afterwards. For I don't think I've been such a very bad man, Will."

"The best of fellows, Bob, always," said the stout, florid, country looking gentleman seated near the great heavily curtained four post bed.

"Thanks, James... Continue reading book >>

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