By: Mona Caird (1854-1932)
Mona Caird, a British writer and feminist, criticized in numerous non-fiction writings the state of marriage as it existed in her time. Her novel The Wing of Azrael reflects her criticisms. This is the first volume of three.
In volume 1, Viola Sedley has attracted the admiration of both Philip Dendraith, a young nobleman, and Harry Lancaster, who, like Viola, comes from a more modest background. Viola’s parents are facing imminent financial hardship, and her marriage to Philip would be advantageous to them. Viola, however, has a distaste for Philip that turns into a marked aversion after she witnesses his cruelty towards animals. Moreover, Harry, who knows Philip’s character, has given her vigorous warnings against marrying him. Torn between her feelings of antipathy towards Philip and her sense of obedience and obligation to her family, Viola must make a difficult choice.