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The Maidens' Lodge None of Self and All of Thee, (In the Reign of Queen Anne)   By: (1836-1893)

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The Maidens' Lodge None of Self and All of Thee, (In the Reign of Queen Anne) by Emily Sarah Holt is an enchanting historical novel that takes readers back to the mesmerizing era of Queen Anne's reign. Set against the backdrop of early 18th-century England, this captivating story revolves around the trials and tribulations faced by young women who navigate through societal expectations and strive to maintain their dreams and individuality.

One of the highlights of this novel is the remarkable character development. The protagonist, Elsie Egerton, is a strong-willed and resilient woman whose determination to live authentically in a world constrained by gender roles is truly inspiring. As she journeys through life, she finds herself entangled in the complex web of propriety, duty, and ambition that surrounds her. Holt skillfully depicts Elsie's internal conflicts, making her relatable and endearing to readers.

The author's meticulous attention to historical details is commendable. Holt brilliantly captures the essence of 18th-century England, painting vivid pictures of the landscapes, social customs, and political undercurrents of the time. Readers will be transported back in time, immersing themselves in the intricacies of Queen Anne's reign and the lives of those who inhabited it.

The plot is carefully constructed, revealing unexpected twists and turns that keep readers engaged throughout. Holt masterfully weaves together multiple storylines, seamlessly connecting the lives of various characters and painting a rich tapestry of their interconnected experiences. The themes of love, loyalty, sacrifice, and the pitfalls of societal constraints are all expertly explored, adding depth and substance to the narrative.

While the pacing of the novel is generally well-maintained, there are moments where the narrative slows down slightly, particularly during extensive descriptions of historical context. However, this can be seen as a testament to the author's dedication to authenticity and should not detract from the overall enjoyment of the story.

The Maidens' Lodge None of Self and All of Thee is a captivating tale that will appeal to lovers of historical fiction, particularly those interested in the Georgian era. Emily Sarah Holt's exquisite storytelling, rich historical backdrop, and compelling characters make this a delightful read. Whether you are a fan of romances, historical settings, or stories of resilience and self-discovery, this novel will surely captivate your heart and transport you to a bygone era.

First Page:

The Maidens' Lodge None of Self and All of Thee, (in the Reign of Queen Anne)

By Emily Sarah Holt The story opens in 1712, and is a story of the habits, customs, loves and hates of a gentle family of those days. We pay particular attention to two young women, Rhoda and Phoebe. Of course your reviewer never did live in those days, but the style of life of these minor grandees seems to ring true, as one would expect of this skilled author. As with her other historical novels, the reader seems to feel pulled into the contemporary scene of those days and that class: their foolish airs and graces, their ambition, in most cases, to marry at or above their "station".

Amid a welter of other minor grandees appears one Mr Welles, who is said to be well placed with an income of three thousand pounds a year, to be compared with one of the players in the story, a curate with 21 pounds a year with which to bring up his large brood. But he turns out to be greedy, and makes a bid for one of the two young women, who, he imagines, is to inherit a large and valuable estate. But he has made a mistake, and much of the latter part of the book deals with the way in which he tries to recover his position, and is, of course, rebuffed. NH



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