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Heiress of Haddon   By:

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[EIGHTH EDITION.]

THE

HEIRESS OF HADDON.

BY

WM. E. DOUBLEDAY.

LONDON:

SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, HAMILTON, KENT AND CO., LIMITED.

BUXTON AND BAKEWELL:

U.F. WARDLEY, "HIGH PEAK NEWS" OFFICES.

PREFACE

The real romance of Haddon Hall is a sweet, old world idyll of singular attractiveness and interest. The gems of the story have been reset by dramatists in different surroundings; but while, as in the Sullivan Grundy opera, many of its chief incidents have been retained, many have been omitted.

In the old story there are no Puritans, and not one solitary Scotchman appears upon the scene. The original drama was enacted in the pastoral days of "Good Queen Bess," when the Tudor Queen was still young and beautiful, and

"When all the world was young, lad, And all the trees were green; And every goose a swan, lad, And every lass a queen."

Haddon Hall, the scene of the story, is situated at the foot of the Peak, between Bakewell and Chatsworth, close to Matlock, and not far from Buxton. Far from the madding crowd the hoary old edifice stands, carefully preserved, and generously thrown open to public view by its princely owners, the Dukes of Rutland, who, though for more than a century back they have ceased to inhabit it, have yet most carefully protected the building from falling into the slightest disrepair.

In our own day, the Hall stands very much as it did in the heyday of its glory, when the sisters Margaret and Dorothy received the homage of their numerous admirers, or the "King of the Peak" himself passed to and fro within its walls. But it is more beautiful now than it was then, for now it is tinged with a beauty which age alone can bestow, and mellowed with a charm that none of the Vernons ever knew.

And of this charm Dorothy Vernon herself is assuredly the central figure. For three centuries her romantic career has been a favourite theme with minstrel, poet, and painter; and during all this time like the ivy which grows and clusters around the walls and nooks and crannies of what, generations ago, were the abiding places of kings or nobles, scenes of splendour and animation so, during the lapse of time, there has grown a beautiful and romantic web of legendary lore which clings tenaciously to every wall, window, and stone of the old Hall, until every room and every corner of old Haddon seems to tell the story of the beautiful maiden who, once upon a time, fell in love with a certain plain John Manners, whom she was determined to wed, in spite of all the obstacles that were placed in her way.

The story telling how she accomplished this has been told in many varying forms, but in the following pages the writer has sought to incorporate the essence of nearly all the legends, concerning not only Dorothy, but also of Sir George Vernon. A considerable amount of fresh matter has been introduced, and, without unduly intruding the dry facts of history, a few of the great events and persons of the time have been pressed into service; whilst at the same time, some of the old English customs of the days of "Good Queen Bess" have been made to serve the purpose of the narrative.

W.E.D.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER. PAGE.

I. AT FIRST SIGHT 1 II. A JEALOUS HEART AND CRAFTY 7 III. THE CLOSE OF THE DAY 13 IV. DAME DURDEN'S ORDEAL 19 V. A VISIT TO NOTTINGHAM 26 VI. DE LA ZOUCH INDULGES IN A LITTLE VILLAINY 32 VII. DOROTHY OVERHEARS SOMETHING 42 VIII. A TOURNAMENT; THE COMBAT 49 IX. AT THE COCK TAVERN, LONDON 55 X. IN DIRE STRAITS 63 XI. AN UNFORTUNATE DENOUEMENT 71 XII. A CONFESSION OF LOVE 79 XIII. FATHER PHILIP'S ACCIDENT 88 XIV. AN UNPLEASANT NIGHT 94 XV. SIR GEORGE AT WESTMINSTER 101 XVI. A NIGHT ADVENTURE 107 XVII. A DALE ABBEY HERMIT 114 XVIII... Continue reading book >>




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