Falkner tells the story of a woman's upbringing under the tyrannical figure of her father. As a six-year-old orphan, Elizabeth Raby prevents Rupert Falkner from committing suicide; Falkner later adopts her and begins working to make her a model of virtue.
"The opening scene of this tale took place in a little village on the southern coast of Cornwall. Treby (by that name we choose to designate a spot whose true one, for several reasons, will not be given) was, indeed, rather a hamlet than a village; although, being at the seaside, there were two or three houses which, by dint of green paint and chints curtains, pretended to give the accommodation of "Apartments Furnished" to the few bathers who, having heard of its cheapness, seclusion, and beauty, now and then resorted thither from the neighbouring towns."
12 hours 42 minutes (152497 words)
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Date added: 10-11-2021
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This part of Cornwall shares much of the peculiar and exquisite beauty which every Englishman knows adorns "the sweet shire of Devon."
It contained a sad, but too common story of the hard-heartedness of the wealthy, and the misery endured by the children of the highborn.
Consumption, in all countries except our own, is considered a contagious disorder, and it too often proves such here.
Mrs. Baker felt some complacency on reading this letter; with the common English respect for wealth and rank, she was glad to find that her humble roof had sheltered a man who was the son.
Brave to rashness as Falkner was, yet there was much in what he had just heard that made him recoil, and almost tremble.