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The Westcotes   By: (1863-1944)

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The Westcotes by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch invites readers on a journey that immerses them in the intriguing world of the Westcote family. Set in a quaint English countryside, the novel beautifully captures the essence of small-town dynamics and the complex relationship between the aristocracy and working class.

The story follows the lives of siblings Grace and Robert Westcote, whose lives are turned upside down when a sudden inheritance catapults them from mediocrity into the world of riches and privilege. As they navigate their newfound status, the characters provide compelling insights into the contrast between material wealth and emotional fulfillment.

Quiller-Couch’s writing style is both eloquent and evocative, painting vivid images of the picturesque landscapes and vividly capturing the nuances of each character’s personality. From the stern yet kind-hearted Grace to the reckless and impulsive Robert, readers will find themselves fully invested in their journey.

What is particularly commendable about The Westcotes is Quiller-Couch’s ability to imbue his characters with depth and complexity. Each individual comes alive on the pages, grappling with their own inner demons, hopes, and desires. This intricate portrayal of the human experience ensures that readers will forge a personal connection with the characters and become deeply invested in their outcomes.

Furthermore, the exploration of social class and its impact on individual identity is one of the novel’s strongest elements. Quiller-Couch deftly examines the divisions between the haves and the have-nots, delving into the consequences of societal expectations and the struggle for self-acceptance. As the Westcotes navigate the complexities of their newfound wealth and status, readers are confronted with thought-provoking questions about privilege, ambition, and the pursuit of happiness.

While The Westcotes boasts a compelling plot and a richly developed cast of characters, some readers may find the pacing to be slightly sluggish. Quiller-Couch takes his time in building the story, allowing each moment to unfold slowly and deliberately. While this approach lends itself well to the immersive setting, it may test the patience of those seeking a faster-paced narrative.

Overall, The Westcotes is a thought-provoking novel that deftly explores themes of class, identity, and personal fulfillment. Quiller-Couch’s exquisite writing and deeply developed characters make for an engaging and emotionally resonant reading experience. This book is a worthy addition to any literary aficionado’s collection, and it serves as a timeless reminder of the struggles and triumphs of the human spirit.

First Page:

E text prepared by Guus van Baalen

Transcriber's Notes:

1. Words which may seem to be transcriber's typos, or otherwise suspect, but which are reproduced faithfully (archaic spellings, printer's typos sometimes I couldn't tell):

Ch. I: befel, undigged Ch. III: chaperon Ch. IV: babby, mun, valtz Ch. V: zounded, dimpsey, after'n, ax'n, ax Ch. VI: picquet, damitol Ch. XI: alwaies, Desarts, Eternitie

2. Diphthongs, given as single characters in the printed copy, are transcribed as two separate characters.






A spinster, having borrowed a man's hat to decorate her front hall, excused herself on the ground that the house 'wanted a something.' By inscribing your name above this little story I please myself at the risk of helping the reader to discover not only that it wants a something, but precisely what that something is. It wants to confess and have done with it all the penetrating subtleties of insight, all the delicacies of interpretation, you would have brought to Dorothea's aid, if for a moment I may suppose her worth your championing. So I invoke your name to stand before my endeavour like a figure outside the brackets in an algebraical sum, to make all the difference by multiplying the meaning contained... Continue reading book >>

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