Christmas Awards 2011

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Roguish Miss Penn


Miss Katherine Penn is the daughter of a Professor of Divinity at Trinity College Cambridge, Mr Julian Penn, since being widowed he spends most of his time at the College. His son and daughter hence see little of him and such things as pin money for his daughter’s clothes and her come out, seem of little consequence in his busy college life. He has installed his sister at his home, as chaperone and companion to his daughter, thus relieving himself of much of the burden of parenting.
Katherine is a budding playwright and has just finished a Gothic Melodrama, which her brother Teddy is plaguing her to let him produce, at the coming Sturbridge Fair in Cambridge a well known and popular event.
The Universities of Cambridge are much against theatricals and only allow them once a year at the Fair. Katherine is worried that her father will find out that she writes, as in his opinion young Ladies need no further education than to learn to be wives and mothers. She wonders how and where she is supposed to meet her future husband, as she has not been allowed to visit her Great Aunt in London for a season, although she has been invited numerous times.
All of these problems Katherine is relating to the family Donkey as she drives with her pet Goose Gabriel, to Fairfax Hall. Having been assured that the owner is not in residence, by her friend Miss Amelia Bonner whose Mother knows all the local news. When they arrive in the grounds of the Hall, Katherine leaves the Donkey cart under a Large Oak tree and lifts Gabriel out of the cart and shoos him towards the pond. Then she begins to collect flowers, which grow in abundance near the pond, for pressing. Suddenly a voice breaks in on her peaceful gathering, asking her if she has flowers enough? Startled Katherine looks up to see a very attractive man watching her, she tells him that she often comes to the pond for the flowers and brings her pet to swim. She is told that she is trespassing, but when she gets near to the pond to call Gabriel a large dog jumps up at her and she falls into the water. Soaking wet and entangled with pond weed, she is annoyed when she sees the man is trying not to laugh at her and sharply asks him to help her out of the water, which he does. When however he sees she is shivering in her wet muslin gown he becomes concerned and takes her to his home, which is Fairfax Hall. At the Hall she is taken to the plunge bath room and invited to have a warm bath, by Lord Phillip Ramsey’s widowed sister Mrs Gisela Cheney, afterwards she is given fresh clothes to wear and a warm drink to insure that she takes no harm from her ducking in the pond.
Gisela Cheney proves to be a delightful lady and invites Katherine back to take tea the following day. Katherine’s father is also invited to visit the very fine library, which is part of Fairfax Hall. This begins a series of visits to the Hall by Katherine and her Father from which many adventures unfold. Katherine will stage her play at the Sturbridge fair with the help of Lord Ramsey, she will also find she has an unknown cousin who arrives unexpectedly and events will become involved. Katherine will be in some danger not only from her own wayward heart but from unknown persons who for some reason wish her out of the way. Watch this interesting book unravel and enjoy the journey. There are some usual events in here, a book that is a little different. I award five red roses. AS

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