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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Title: Wooed and Married

Author and Title: Rosa Nouchette Carey. Wooed and Married: A Novel

First Edition: London: Tinsley Brothers, 1875. 3 volumes, 31s 6d.

Serialization: Tinsley's Magazine, January 1875 to December 1875 (monthly)

Summary: A highly melodramatic love story. Dymphna ("Dym") Elliott at eighteen works as a governess for the youngest daughter of the Tressilian family. She has a "temper" leading her to speak the truth when silence is the better course. Dym's brother, William, suffers from poor health and works as a curate in a poor Kentish Town parish. While at the Tressilian house, Dym meets Guy Chichester, a wealthy and mercurial cousin of the family, and she earns his gratitude by nursing him through a migraine headache. Beatrix Tressilian, the eldest daughter, develops an antipathy to Dym which leads to her removal. Living with her brother, Dym learns of the mysterious Mr. Latimer who periodically comes to the parish to assist her brother—he turns out to be none other than Guy Chichester himself. The latter hires Dym as his mother's companion on his estate Ingleside in Yorkshire. While there, Dym learns of Mrs. Chichester's impending blindness due to cataracts (which she is hiding from her son), falls in love with Guy, and meets the angelic Honor Nethecote. The latter, as Dym learns, is an old love of Guy's and the betrothed couple separated due to a disagreement. Dym quickly comes to admire and imitate the benevolent Honor. Meantime, Honor's brother Humphrey, a stolid farmer, falls in love with Dym but she turns down his proposal. Beatrix arrives at the house, sees Dym's affection for her cousin, and sets about getting Dym removed. Her plan succeeds: Dym tenders her resignation but before she goes she meets with an accident when she twists her ankle and lies in a cold, damp field for hours. Honor finds Dym and Guy saves both. The exposure, however, affects both women but both eventually recover. As a result, Guy and Honor reunite, marry, and go on a honeymoon. Dym stays on at Ingleside. While in France, Honor gives birth to a daughter Florence and dies shortly after. Crushed, Guy sends the infant to his mother and goes on an extended trip around the world. A year later, they hear of the wreck of his ship and Guy is presumed dead. Mrs. Chichester and Dym raise the girl. Meantime, William also dies after years of poor health. One night Dym answers the door to a disheveled man—it is Guy miraculously returned (he never explains how he escaped death). The trio make a family of sorts: Florence adores both her father and her "aunt" Dym. Though he admits Honor was his true love, he proposes to Dym and she accepts. However, Beatrix, once again, sows seeds of doubt in Dym who thinks Guy is marrying her out of pity not affection. Dym runs away. She only returns to Ingleside to nurse Guy after a severe riding accident. After his recovery, he proposes again affirming his affection for her and Dym accepts. (TJB)

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References: EC


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