Featured Novel


Only the Governess by Rosa N Carey, 1888


Cast of characters



The Story


Opening paragraph of ONLY THE GOVERNESS

There are several plot lines. That related to the title is the story of a woman who "deserts" her husband, becomes a governess and has to decide if she should "do her duty" and return to him after being frozen out by his coldness and driven out by his spinster sister. The book takes a typically Victorian standpoint on marriage:

"..I did not mean to be wicked. I only wanted my freedom."
"You cannot have that unless God thiniks fit to take your husband; no human power can free you from those solemn vows, which it is now your duty to fulfil."

However, there is some sympathy for the wife:

It was odd that [Launcelot's] first connected thought was "Poor Mrs Thorpe, I pity her!" Strange that in the first instance his sympathy should be with the woman who had plainly deserted her path of duty instead of resting with the deserted husband; but Launcelot was a creature of impulse, and very warmhearted, and he had felt himself repelled by the other man's coldness.

The secondary plot concerns an adopted child, Dossie and her feelings for her guardian, Launcelot - a staple of Victorian fiction. Dossie's father goes to Australia to seek his fortune and Dossie is left in the hands of his sister's family and their governess to be brought up by them.

Other plot threads concern the other members of the Chudleigh family and their various loves and losses connected with the Maxwells and the Hamblyns.

Other staples of Victorian fiction included in the novel are sick-rooms, death beds, self-denial, charitable works, the importance of family and duty, God's goodness and omniscience, and a happy ending.

Above all there is a feeling of brightness and hope that pervades the novel as well as an enjoyable interplay of character. This is one of the most enjoyable of popular Victorian novels to read.

I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ROSA NOUCHETTE CAREY

I WANT TO SEE WHAT ELSE ROSA NOUCHETTE CAREY HAS WRITTEN

I WANT TO READ A SHORT STORY BY ROSA N CAREY

I WOULD LOVE TO READ AN ESSAY ABOUT HERCULES BY ROSA N CAREY

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