24 January 2018

May Agnes Fleming's Very Worst Marriage?



The Heiress of Castle Cliffe; Or, Off With the Old Love
     [Victoria; Or, The Heairess of Castle Cliffe]
May Agnes Fleming
New York: Street & Smith, [c. 1917]
289 pages

The Heiress of Castle Cliffe, the most reprinted work by Canada’s first bestselling writer, May Agnes Fleming, appeared under many titles, but none so intriguing as Wedded for Pique, the one slapped on the 1878 edition. 
Wedded for pique? I couldn’t imagine what sort of slight would lead to matrimony. 
The affront is revealed in the last third of novel, just before an angry, malicious walk down the aisle. It follows a series of great misfortunes and misadventures, and leads to even more, resulting in a murder, a drowning, and a hanging. 
To think it all begins with a pleasant evening at the theatre.

My first book review of the year! The rest can be read – gratishere at the Canadian Notes & Queries website.

Pique your interest?

Sorry.

As recompense, I offer a visual treat comprised of three other editions. Interested readers are advised not to look too closely at the scribblings on the first, which give away the novel's twist:

Victoria; Or, The Heiress of Castle Cliffe
New York: Brady, 1864
Heiress of Castle Cliff [sic]
New York: Hurst, [1880?]
Wedded for Pique
New York: Dillingham, [1889]

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