CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 1875 - 328 pages
IT was an old manor-house, not a deserted convent, as you might suppose by the name. The conventual buildings from which no doubt the place had taken its name, had dropped away, bit by bit, leaving nothing but one wall of the chapel, now closely veiled and mantled with ivy, behind the orchard, about a quarter of a mile from the house. The lands were Church lands, but the house was a lay house, of an older date than the family who had inhabited it from Henry VIII.'s time, when the priory was destroyed, and its possessions transferred to the manor. No one could tell very clearly how this transfer was made, or how the family of Austins came into being. Before that period no trace of them was to be found. They sprang up all at once, not rising gradually into power, but appearing full-blown as proprietors of the manor, and possessors of all the confiscated lands. There was a tradition in the family of some wild, tragical union of an emancipated nun with a secularized friar-a kind of repetition of Luther and his Catherine, but with results less comfortable than those which followed the marriage of those German souls. With the English convertites the issue was not happy, as the story goes. Their broken vows haunted them; their possessions, which were not theirs, but the Church's, lay heavy on their consciences; and they died early, leaving descendants with whose history a thread of perpetual misfortune was woven. The family history ran in a succession of long minorities, the line of inheritance gliding from one branch to the other, the direct thread breaking constantly. To die young, and leave orphan children behind; or to die younger still, letting the line drop and fall back upon cadets of the house, was the usual fate of the Austins of Whiteladies-unfortunate people who bore the traces of their original sin in their very name.

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À propos de l'auteur (1875)

Margaret Oliphant Wilson Oliphant (née Margaret Oliphant Wilson) (4 April 1828 - 25 June 1897), was a Scottish novelist and historical writer who married her cousin, Frank Wilson Oliphant. Oliphant's first novel was published in 1849, Passages in the Life of Mrs. Margaret Maitland. The book dealt with the Scottish Free Church movement. Oliphant, during an often difficult life, wrote more than 120 works, including novels, books of travel and description, histories, and volumes of literary criticism. Among the best known of her works of fiction are: Adam Graeme (1852), The Marriage of Elinor (1892), The Ways of Life (1897). She died at Wimbledon, London, on 25 June 1897.

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