Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

August Books 10) The Broad Highway, by Jeffery Farnol

This was the best-selling novel of 1911, a romantic tale set in about 1811 where you know what is going to happen from the very first page, when Peter Vibart is promised a vast legacy if he will marry Sophia Sefton, but declares he would rather not. He flees metropolitan life to the village of Sissinghurst in Kent, where he encounters many good-hearted comic yokels and falls in love with a mysterious woman who comes to live with him in his cottage. She has firm, well-rounded arms. (That's arms, I say, arms.) It takes Peter (unlike the reader) most of the book to work out her real identity, and to deal with his rival for the marital legacy, his rather two-dimensionally villainous cousin, though I guess he is distracted by the occasional staggering coincidence and his anachronistic inclination towards Christian Science doctrine. I had never heard of Farnol before but apparently he was one of the most successful popular novelists of the first half of the twentieth century, and I suppose I can see the attraction of his undemanding yet breathless style. (Sissinghurst, by the way, was called Milkstreet in 1811 and changed its name only later in the century; more anachronism.)
Tags: bookblog 2011

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