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Watch The Wall My Darling
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Watch The Wall My Darling

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  523 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The title comes from "A Smuggler's Song" by Rudyard Kipling:
Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark
Brandy for the Parson,
'Baccy for the Clerk;
Laces for a lady; letters for a spy,
And watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

The carriage that was rolling swiftly along the rainy English marsh on the road from London suddenly stopped. A barricade blocke
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Published 2002 by House of Stratus (first published 1966)
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Sherry
My favorite JAH book. I first read this as a teenager and have read it several times since. The whole historical romance, spys and fear of "Boney" invading England are a favorite theme for me. Jane Aiken Hodge wrote so many good books, weaving real people and facts into her stories. She passed away in 2009, and I have read her books so often, I feel like I lost a friend, though I obviously never met her.
Hannah
Although billed as a gothic, there really wasn't much of the gothic about this story set during the Napoleonic Wars.

Better then average writing for this genre, but the story felt too modern to have taken place in the early 1800's, and I wasn't much impressed with the hero or the romance.

OK overall. Hence the 2-stars. Would try more by Hodge to see if this book is just a one-off.
Sue
Christina Tretton, a courageous and intelligent young woman who was brought up in the USA, returns to her family home in Sussex, during the time of the Napoleonic wars. She's caught up immediately in intrigue and danger, involving smuggling and more; she finds herself attracted to her cousin Ross, yet not sure how far she can trust him.

Exciting, with people who I quickly cared about. Great for general social history too, and understanding a little more about this period in history, although the
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April
This story had many gothic elements that I enjoyed - the dark ancestral home, Tretteign Grange, on Romney Marsh near the coast of England, once an abbey and now considered to be haunted; a resourceful heroine come from America to meet the grandfather she's never known because she promised her father on his deathbed she would; and as the title suggests, smuggler's are lurking about while everyone worries about Napoleon's next move.

Set in the late 19th centery, this novel was predictable but pleas
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Tracey
An old favorite from my childhood, this gothic romance has all of the usual trappings, a strong heroine, a dark and lonely mansion, a dark stranger with strong arms, and danger.

Told with humor and a mild femininist slant, the story of American young lady Christina Tretton returning to Tretteign Grange, her family's ancestral seat in England, takes its title from a Kipling poem on smugglers. And smugglers certainly appear throughout the novel, as do spies, as the novel is set in England during th
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Helen
I had never heard of Watch the Wall, My Darling until it started appearing in my recommendations on Goodreads, and with such an intriguing title I knew it was a book I would have to consider reading eventually! First published in 1966, it seems to be out of print now in paperback or hardback format, but used copies are available and an ebook version has also been released.

Watch the Wall, My Darling is a gothic romantic suspense novel set on the south-east coast of England during the Napoleonic W
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Lori
I enjoyed this little Gothic novel. Set in England during the time when her coast was fearful and watching for the landing of Napoleon's forces, Christina arrives at the manor of her grandfather. Her father had immigrated to America. Following his death, and at his request, Christina comes to England to meet the family her father escaped. She comes with American ideas and culture which are often at odds with what a proper English maiden would do. The night of her arrival her coach is waylaid by ...more
Lady Domino
I have read and re-read this book so many times that my copy has now fallen to pieces (does anyone know if its available as an ebook?)

I fall in love with Ross every time. I want to be Christina.

Carolyn
A romance/historical/adventure based in English history. Christina Tretton arrives from America to stay with her English relatives during Napoleon's threats of invasion. She arrives at night and is threatened by masked highwaymen before she reaches her destination. She finds that her cousins and aunt are unsettled, unhappy Tretteign Hall residents, existing under the thumb of her controlling grandfather.

She arrives as a pauper and later reveals that she traveled to England to discover the circu
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Laylah
A too-perfect heroine surrounded by two-dimensional cast of characters. The reason is easlily explained. When all other characters are self-centered, uncompetent, unreasonable and shrill, the only character who is not all that can't help but look god-like.

The element of intrigue is adequate, but the attempt on romantic front fails miserably. First and foremost, I just don't see what Christina sees in Ross. Second, the way that the author creates a competition for the hero's heart at very late i
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Alissa
Thank you goodreads! This book was a goodreads recommendation based on my favorites shelf. I had never heard of the book or the author. The library I checked it out from had only one copy in their system and it looks as if it hadn't been checked out for years!

I ended up really liking the story. It came with smugglers; spies; kidnapping; gloomy, English, coastal weather; haunted, crumbling cloisters; humor; romance; and intrigue. Definitely a book I had a hard time putting down.
Abigail Yow
An interesting enough gothic novel about intrigue, passion and betrayal. Watch the wall, my darling is about an American girl who comes to live with her grandfather in Tretteingn Grange. During the journey, she unexpectedly meets a man whose fate is intertwined with hers.
Phair
Found mention of having read this in my diary for 1966. I was really into gothics around that time. No indication of how I liked the book so have to assume it was good as I would have mentioned otherwise. I have always been drawn to tales of highwaymen & smugglers.
Kathie (katmom)
This book stayed with me for years. I'd think back on it as I was riding by myself in Alaska at a hunting lodge. Me, the horse, the dog...and this book in my mind. Kept me company.

I loved it. And the very tattered paperback is still on my shelf!
Malinda
Maybe this was more of a 3.5 star book but either way, I enjoyed it!I thought it was going to be a suspenseful mystery and in that way I was dissapointed. However, the characters were so likeable that it made up for it.
HerbieGrandma
Another of those early historic gothic romances! I loved this book in my youth and when I sit down for a quick reread now and then, it makes me smile . . .
Effie
Mysterious, long-lost cousins, smugglers on the English coast, death around every corner. This was entertaining, in the way of Gothic novels.
Kelly Schooler
An old fashioned romance novel I still have that i read when i was in my teens....Don't ask me why i liked it but i did
Sheryl Tribble
Haven't read this book in thirty years or more; liked it just as much this time through as the first time.
Mara
Fun book full of suspense, romance, smugglers and rain-swept marshes. Great curl up by the fire book.
Benefitsingers
Mar 15, 2013 Benefitsingers marked it as to-read
Not in Kindle format, expensive on Amazon, check B&N
Ayelet
Another one I love, so much fun to read.
Anelle
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Nov 22, 2014
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Jane Aiken Hodge was born in the USA, brought up in the UK and read English at Oxford. She received a master's degree from Radcliffe College, Harvard University.

Before her books became her living she worked as a civil servant, journalist, publishers' reader and a reviewer.

She has written lives of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer as well as a book about women in the Regency period, PASSION AND PRINC
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More about Jane Aiken Hodge...
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