Small image of a man handing a book to a women across a counter.

At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Title: Cometh Up as a Flower

Author and Title: Rhoda Broughton. Cometh Up as a Flower: An Autobiography

First Edition: London: Bentley, 1867. 2 volumes, post 8vo., 21s.

Serialization: Dublin University Magazine, July 1866 to January 1867 (monthly)

Summary: Broughton's shocking bestseller. Nell Le Strange is the daughter of an impoverished baronet Sir Adrian Le Strange. Compared to her beautiful and staid elder sister, Nell is plain and flighty. In the opening scenes of the novel, she meet the handsome soldier Major Dick M'Gregor in the graveyard then again at a party. The two quickly fall in love. Meantime, her father's fortunes continue suffering and he encourages Nell to marry Sir Hugh Lancaster, a wealthy baronet. But Nell continues to meet Dick secretly while Dolly works to keep them apart. During a visit to Sir Hugh's home, he and Nell suffer a dog-cart accident and the two spend a night in an inn while she recovers. Nell, however, remains unmoved by the baronet and commits herself to Dick. Thereafter, Dick joins his regiment in Cork. Strangely, none of his promised letters arrive from him. Six months later, Nell's father's health fails and bankruptcy looms. Sir Hugh proposes and under great pressure to save her father further pains Nell accepts. Shortly after the marriage, her father dies. When Dick's regiment is ordered to India, he stops in England to see Nell and he accuses her of jilting him by letter. However, Dolly wrote the letter. In her despair, Nell offers to go to India with Dick, but he wisely reasons her out of such a calamitous step. As a result, Nell plans to angrily ejects Dolly from her home but is thwarted by Dolly's sudden marriage to a lord. The novel ends with Nell hearing of Dick's death from fever in India. Shortly after, Nell wastes away and dies of consumption. (TJB)

Title Tags:

References: BL; EC; Sutherland


  • Search for title at The Online Books Page (please note: the search will take you out of At the Circulating Library)