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The Duchess of Wrexe Her Decline and Death; A Romantic Commentary   By: (1884-1941)

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First Page:

THE DUCHESS OF WREXE

Her Decline and Death

A Romantic Commentary

by

HUGH WALPOLE

Author of "Fortitude," etc.

New York George H. Doran Company

Copyright, 1914, By George H. Doran Company

TO MY MOTHER A SMALL EXPRESSION OF GRATITUDE BEYOND WORDS

"And we'll have fires out of the Grand Duke's Wood." Letter to Maria Gisborne

THE RISING CITY: I

THE DUCHESS OF WREXE

NOTE: This is an age of Trilogies and Sequels. The title at the beginning of this book, "The Rising City: I," may lead nervous readers to fear yet another attempt in that extended and discursive direction .

To reassure them I wish to emphasize this point that The Duchess of Wrexe is entirely a novel complete and independent in itself. It is grouped, with the two stories that will follow it, under the heading of "The Rising City" because the three novels will be connected in place, in idea, and in sequence of time. Also certain of the same characters will appear in all three books. But the novels are not intended as sequels of one another, nor is "The Rising City" a Trilogy. H. W.

CONTENTS

BOOK I: THE DUCHESS

I Felix Brun, Dr. Christopher, Rachel Beaminster They Are Surveyed by the Portrait

II Rachel

III Lady Adela

IV The Pool

V She Comes Out

VI Fans

VII In the Heart of the House

VIII The Tiger

IX The Golden Cage

X Lizzie and Breton

XI Her Grace's Day

XII Defiance of the Tiger I

XIII Defiance of the Tiger II

BOOK II: RACHEL

I The Pool and the Snow

II A Little House

III First Sequel to Defiance

IV Rachel and Christopher and Roddy

V Lizzie's Journey I

VI All the Beaminsters

VII Rachel and Breton

VIII Christopher's Day

IX The Darkest Hour

X Lizzie's Journey II

XI Roddy Is Master

XII Lizzie's Journey III

BOOK III: RODDY

I Regent's Park Breton and Lizzie

II The Duchess Moves

III Roddy Moves

IV March 13th: Breton's Tiger

V March 13th: Rachel's Heart

VI March 13th: Roddy Talks to the Devil and the Duchess Denies God

VII Chamber Music A Trio

VIII A Quartette

IX Rachel and Roddy

X Lizzie Becomes Miss Rand Again

XI The Last View from High Windows

XII Rachel, Roddy, Lord John, Christopher

XIII Epilogue Prologue

BOOK I

THE DUCHESS

CHAPTER I

FELIX BRUN, DR. CHRISTOPHER, RACHEL BEAMINSTER THEY ARE SURVEYED BY THE PORTRAIT.

I

Felix Brun, perched like a little bird, on the steps of the Rede Art Gallery, gazed up and down Bond Street, with his sharp eyes for someone to whom he might show Yale Ross's portrait of the Duchess of Wrexe. The afternoon was warm, the date May of the year 1898, and the occasion was the Young Portrait Painters' first show with Ross's "Duchess" as its principal attraction.

Brun was thrilled with excitement, with emotion, and he must have his audience. There must be somebody to whom he might talk, to whom he might explain exactly why this occasion was of so stirring an importance.

His eyes lighted with satisfaction. Coming towards him was a tall, gaunt man with a bronzed face, loose ill fitting clothes, a stride that had little of the town about it. This was Arkwright, the explorer, a man who had been lost in African jungles during the last five years, the very creature for Brun's purposes.

Here was someone who, knowing nothing about Art, would listen all the more readily to Brun's pronouncement upon it, a homely simple soul, fitted for the killing of lions and tigers, but pliable as wax in the hands of a master of civilization like Brun. At the same time Arkwright was no fool; a psychologist in his way, he had written two books about the East that had aroused considerable interest.

No fool, Arkwright.... He would be able to appreciate Brun's subtleties and perhaps add some of his own.

He had, however, been away from England for so long a time that anything that Brun had to tell him about the London world would be pleasantly fresh and stimulating... Continue reading book >>




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