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The Man with a Shadow   By: (1831-1909)

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The Man with a Shadow by George Manville Fenn is an enthralling Victorian-era novel that takes readers on a gripping journey of mystery, adventure, and redemption. Set in the mesmerizing landscapes of the Cornish coast, Fenn's descriptive prose brings the vivid scenery to life, immersing readers in a world of beauty and danger.

The story follows the protagonist, a young man named Jasper Dane, who finds himself entangled in a series of perplexing events. Jasper is haunted by a peculiar affliction—he is followed by a mysterious shadow that seems to have a life of its own. This atmospheric element adds an intriguing layer of suspense to the narrative, keeping readers hooked from the beginning.

Fenn masterfully weaves a tale of suspense as Jasper embarks on a quest to unravel the enigma shrouding his haunting shadow. Along the way, he encounters a myriad of captivating characters, each with their own secrets and motives. From cunning smugglers to sinister villains, the cast of characters adds depth and complexity to the narrative, ensuring that the story never loses momentum.

One of the strongest aspects of Fenn's writing lies in his exceptional ability to paint vivid character portraits. Whether it's the morally ambiguous Mr. Shanty, the enigmatic Miss Eliza Bell, or the kind-hearted fisherman Tom Putt, each character possesses a distinct personality that leaps off the pages. Their interactions provide a glimpse into the intricate web of relationships that propel the story forward.

Fenn's attention to detail is commendable, as he seamlessly blends historical authenticity with imaginative storytelling. The vivid descriptions of the Cornish landscapes and the portrayal of life in a fishing village during that era are incredibly immersive. It's evident that Fenn conducted meticulous research, ensuring that both the setting and the historical backdrop are richly depicted.

Moreover, The Man with a Shadow tackles universal themes such as identity, self-discovery, and the redemptive power of the human spirit. As Jasper struggles to break free from the shadow's hold and uncover the truth about his destiny, readers are also compelled to reflect on their own journeys of self-discovery and find solace in the possibility of redemption.

While the plot is undeniably engaging, there are moments when the story seems to meander slightly, losing some of its initial momentum. However, Fenn's ability to captivate readers with his vivid descriptions and remarkable character development more than compensates for these occasional lulls.

Overall, The Man with a Shadow is a mesmerizing Victorian novel that transports readers to a world of intrigue, mystery, and adventure. Fenn's exquisite writing style, compelling characters, and atmospheric setting make this book a must-read for fans of historical fiction, particularly those intrigued by the lesser-known corners of the Victorian era. With its captivating storyline and profound themes, this novel is a testament to Fenn's masterful storytelling and literary prowess.

First Page:



"Do what, miss?" said Dally Watlock. "That! There, you did it again."

"La, miss; I on'y thought my face might be a bit smudgy, and I wiped it."

"Don't tell me a falsehood, Dally. I know what it means. You felt guilty, and your face burned."

"La, miss; I don't know what you mean."

"Then I'll tell you, Dally. You are growing too light and free, and your conduct is far from becoming, or what it should be for a maid servant at the Rectory. If girls are so foolish they must not be surprised at young men gentlemen taking such liberties. Now go. And mind this: if it ever occurs again, I shall acquaint my brother."

"Well, I couldn't help it, miss. I didn't ask Mr Tom Candlish to kiss me."

"Silence! How dare you? Leave the room."

"I was a going to, miss. He popped out from behind the hedge just as Billy Wilkins had given me the letters, and he says, `Give this note to Miss Leo, Dally,' he says, `and mind no one else sees.'"

"I told you to leave the room, girl."

"Well, miss, I'm a going, ain't I? And then, before I could help it, he put his arm round me and said my cheeks were like apples."

"Will you leave the room?"

"Yes, miss, of course I will; and then he kissed me just as Billy Wilkins looked back, and now he'll go and tell Joe Chegg, and he'll scold me too... Continue reading book >>

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