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Old 01-24-2023, 09:25 AM   #1
GrannyGrump
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Bowen, Marjorie: Aunt Beardie. v1. 25 Jan 2023

Bowen’s writings present recurring themes of darkness, the supernatural, and the gothic in combination with the historical. Her “Shearing” novels, while often based on true crime, still retain sinister gothic undertones.

Aunt Beardie is derived chiefly from an actual case in Gaston Lenôtre’s Vielles Maisons Vieux Papiers which contains a portrait of that strange personage of the French Terror.

— — — —

Aunt Beardie is a tale of secrets, prostitution, blackmail, and murder within France and England, with a brooding atmosphere of unease and mistrust.

“Two young girls fleeing from terrorism in the France of 1794 are thrown into chance companionship with an unknown young man who escorts them on the voyage from St. Malo. The tale is taken up thirty years later when one of these girls is married to an Englishman of high position, Sir Robert Sherlock, and herself is the mother of a daughter aged eighteen years. A peculiarly sensitive affection exists between these two women, and the daughter, Jenny, gradually became aware that some dark horror from the past is overshadowing her mother’s outwardly calm and happy life. This horror finally takes tangible shape; under the most innocent guise, a merciless blackmailer penetrates the peaceful family where Lady Sherlock is adored. Jenny slowly discovers her mother’s terrible secret and does not falter from her championship even when this brings her to the point where she has to decide whether or not she will commit murder.”

(—Publisher’s summary)

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Margaret Gabrielle Vere Long (née Campbell; 1 November 1885 – 23 December 1952) was a British author who wrote historical romances, supernatural horror stories, popular history and biography. Her total output numbers over 150 volumes, with the bulk of her work under the pseudonym “Marjorie Bowen”, the name she is mostly known by. She also wrote under the names Joseph Shearing, George R. Preedy, John Winch, Robert Paye and Margaret Campbell.

Bowen’s books are much sought after by aficionados of gothic horror, and received praise from many critics. Several of her novels were adapted for film.

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Aunt Beardie was first published in 1940.
This book is in the public domain where copyright is “Life+70” or less.
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