LINNET: a romance by ALLEN, Grant, 1848-99

LINNET: a romance

Edition: First US issue

New York: New Amsterdam Book Company, 1900. Red fine ribbed pictorial cloth stamped in gilt, lettered in black, on front cover, spine gilt lettered, top edges gilt. pp 394 + frontispiece portrait with tissue guard. UK sheets, cancel title leaf. Yellowing and foxing to fore and bottom page edges; spine a bit darkened with lettering dulled; slight yellowing and foxing to endpapers; light damp mark to inner margin of rear cover; VG clean, tight and unworn copy otherwise. >>> " Allen's last substantial novel, a melodrama with quite well-drawn characters and an action-packed plot which moves between the Tyrol, London and Monte Carlo. While on holiday in Austria, Will Deverill, a composer of light operas, falls in love with a sennerin, the 'Linnet' of the title - a gifted but untrained singer. She is, however, an uneducated peasant girl and a devout Catholic; and after terrific pressure is applied by her parish priest, she is soon married off to the cold and greedy impresario of her village, Andreas Hausberger, during Will's absence. Hausberger thereby earns the enmity not only of Deverill, but of Linnet's other unwanted lover, Franz Lindner, a fiery young Alpine jager. Over the next three years, Hausberger, by a process of merciless bullying, turns his wife into an international star. After many complications which give GA lots of opportunities for mocking comment on Catholic intransigence and hypocrisy with respect to divorce, Linnet and Will are of course united. There is an interesting sub-plot involving a fake American psychic, Joaquin Holmes, obviously based on the medium D.D. Home, who is eventually murdered by Franz Lindner after some heavy gambling and card-sharping at Monte Carlo. This novel is noticeably franker about matters of sexual morality than most of its predecessors, perhaps suggesting GA's continued, or renewed, zeal for taking on the censorious 'British matron'. Will's friend, the very camp music critic Florian Wood, is the last in the line of GA's fantastical talkers, possibly a mixture of Andrew Lang and Wilde and GA himself, whose conversation, or monologue, surges forward on a wave of allusion, quotations and free association. " - Peter Morton. The UK edition was published in 1898 by Grant Richards. ; Octavo

Book ID: 49926
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