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A Modern Telemachus   By: (1823-1901)

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A Modern Telemachus by Charlotte Mary Yonge is a gripping tale of self-discovery, resilience, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and her son. Set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world, this thought-provoking novel explores themes of moral transformation and the challenges faced by young individuals trying to find their place in society.

The story follows the journey of young Guy Morville, the son of a wealthy family, as he navigates the complexities of life in the Victorian era. Raised by a single mother after the untimely death of his father, Guy finds himself longing to emulate the legendary character of Telemachus from Homer's Odyssey. Inspired by his mother's stories, he sets out on a quest to discover his own purpose and face the trials that lie ahead.

Yonge's compelling narrative captivates readers from the very first page, drawing them into a world filled with intrigue, romance, and moral dilemmas. Through Guy's adventures, the author masterfully explores the conflicts between duty and personal desires, societal expectations, and individual aspirations. As Guy encounters various characters who shape his path, readers are exposed to a rich tapestry of personalities, each serving as a catalyst for his personal growth.

One of the most remarkable aspects of A Modern Telemachus is the depth and authenticity of the characters. Whether it's the steadfast love and guidance of Guy's mother, the enigmatic mentorship of Sir John Morville, or the complex relationships he develops with his peers, each character is intricately crafted and contributes to the story's overall resonance. Yonge's ability to create relatable and flawed characters allows readers to empathize with their struggles and triumphs, ultimately highlighting the importance of compassion and understanding.

Furthermore, the novel serves as a powerful commentary on the changing societal dynamics during the Victorian era. Yonge delves into the evolving roles of women, the tensions between social classes, and the impact of technological advancements on societal norms. By weaving these themes seamlessly into the narrative, the author effectively invites readers to reflect on their own beliefs and to question the values that shape their own lives.

A Modern Telemachus is a literary gem that manages to both entertain and provoke thought. Through its engaging plot, well-rounded characters, and profound exploration of social issues, Yonge delivers a compelling story that resonates with readers of all ages. This novel is not only a testament to the author's storytelling prowess but also a profound reflection on the human experience and the relentless pursuit of purpose and identity.

First Page:


{'Be still' illustration: p1.jpg}

'Be still; I want to hear what they are saying.' P. 2.



All rights reserved

First Edition (2 Vols. Crown 8 vo ) 1886 Reprinted 1887, 1889


The idea of this tale was taken from The Mariners' Chronicle , compiled by a person named Scott early in the last century a curious book of narratives of maritime adventures, with exceedingly quaint illustrations. Nothing has ever shown me more plainly that truth is stranger than fiction, for all that is most improbable here is the actual fact.

The Comte de Bourke was really an Irish Jacobite, naturalised in France, and married to the daughter of the Marquis de Varennes, as well as in high favour with the Marshal Duke of Berwick.

In 1719, just when the ambition of Elizabeth Farnese, the second wife of Philip V. of Spain, had involved that country in a war with England, France, and Austria, the Count was transferred from the Spanish Embassy to that of Sweden, and sent for his wife and two elder children to join him at a Spanish port.

This arrangement was so strange that I can only account for it by supposing that as this was the date of a feeble Spanish attempt on behalf of the Jacobites in Scotland, Comte de Bourke may not have ventured by the direct route... Continue reading book >>

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