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Book Report: The Hidden Hand

Earlier in the year, Your Humble Blogger read The Hidden Hand on the recommendation of one of the instructors here at the university. It was a blast.

I had never heard of E.D.E.N. Southworth. She is one of those very-popular-at-the-time writers who disappears into the mists of bestseller history in a generation. She evidently wrote something like sixty novels, and this is the one that has survived, to the extent that it has survived, what with my never having heard of it. And I’m not surprised, really, as this sort of book is absolutely not in style at all, not in any way.

But I like it.

Really, I was chortling with delight over the first few chapters, which were already packed with incidents and coincidence, and the rest of it largely continues as it began. Pirates, bandits, missing cousins, secret marriages, unjust accusations of infidelity, kidnapping, cross-dressing, remorse, conspiracy, inheritance swindling, birthmark recognition, runaway horses, faithful family servants, fiendish cads, false preachers, prison breaks, manly homoeroticism—seriously, I cannot catalogue all the crazy goodness in this book.

I don’t know that I will go on with her stuff (my employer does have some more, although nothing like a complete set), but this was a beaut.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


That sounds like just the ticket for summer reading. I will have to try to dig it up.

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