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The Legend of the Seventh Virgin
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The Legend of the Seventh Virgin

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,469 ratings  ·  49 reviews
According to the legend, six novices living in a Cornish convent strayed from their vows and were turned to stone. The seventh faced quite a different fate. Years later when the convent became the family mansion of the St. Larnston family, fate beckoned to another young virgin.
Kerensa Carlee was only a cottage girl, but she possessed great ambition and greater beauty -- an
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 19th 1993 by Ivy Books (first published 1964)
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Rebecca by Daphne du MaurierNine Coaches Waiting by Mary StewartMistress of Mellyn by Victoria HoltAirs Above the Ground by Mary StewartThe Moonspinners by Mary Stewart
Classic Romantic Suspense You Can Read Now
45th out of 137 books — 60 voters
Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëDracula by Bram StokerWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëFrankenstein by Mary ShelleyRebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Best Gothic Books Of All Time
154th out of 341 books — 1,853 voters

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Community Reviews

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Oddly enough, this is actually one of my favorite books. There were many times throughout reading it when I wanted to slap one or more of the characters... But let's face it, not every book should be about some incredibly wonderful person that triumphs over character faults to move on and live happily ever after. It is a great book and does an amazing job of pointing out that having what you wish for is not necessarily a dream come true.
I loved this book - both now and when I first read it almost 30 years ago. I loved Mellyora and Karensa so much that I actually wanted to name my kids by those two names (of course my husband said "no"). There is something in this book that lends to learning life's lessons and growing up that you don't find in many books being written today. The characters are strong - whether they have good or bad qualities - the strength in those qualities is well defined and clearly fits into the story. I lov ...more
This is one of my favourites, don't know why but just was at the time of me reading it, of course if I were to read it now it probably would not get as many stars but I am going from memory here.

Sorry - I should point out that I read this book over 22 years ago. I remember reading some of it on the train on my way home from school and being so intrigued with it I almost missed my stop.
Sandra Hahn
This is one of my favorite books of all-time. It's not a sappy romance novel at all and like Gone with the Wind, the heroine is strong and couldn't care less about getting a man, until later when she's met the rest of her goals. Just a really interesting story set back-when.
Amanda Hoeck
To be perfectly honest I was steadily becoming less interested in this book as the story progressed. The main character having, as one had put it, no redeemable traits, I tired of her "ambitions" and thought about just shelving the book. However when I had time to kill at a laundry mat, I decided to read the last few chapters just to see how it ends. I had heard that it didn't have a happy ending but I couldn't disagree more. The last few chapters make the whole book. I don't like spoilers, but ...more
I picked a pretty decent Holt to start with. I had been interested in reading the author since Lauren Willig (whose Pink Carnation books I adore) mentioned that a Holt book was an influence on her Night Jasmine installment in the Pink series. The Legend of the Seventh Virgin is always engaging and has a nice tone of melodrama throughout. The lead character is a bit problematic, though she has a great name: Kerensa Carlee. Appropriately soap opera-ish, no? She is complex but not likeable enough i ...more
Kelley Ross
This book reminded me a lot of Jane Eyre, which probably explains why I liked it so much. At first the setting was hard to get used to because it was so foreign, but as the book went on Cornwall grew to seem more and more like England. I never quite got used to Mellyora's name, which sounds strange every time I pronounce it in my head. Kerensa is a very strong character and I really enjoyed the fact that her Spanish looks were dramatized throughout the novel. The ending was a surprise and didn't ...more
Sheryl Tribble
A not-very-gothic-y gothic. There's an old abbey complete with haunting historical legend that has multiple impacts on the heroine, but the closest we get to a brooding hero is the cold-hearted guy her best friend crushes on, who never remotely interests the heroine in a romantic sense. And it's not so much about the heroine being persecuted by vague evil forces as it is about a willful heroine striving to get her dreams by any means possible.

The writing is solid and the characters interesting
This was a great story. Didn't end like the other Victoria Holt books I have read so far but it made me love it more for that reason.
Felicia Marie Ciaudelli
This is the first Victoria Holy book that I ever read - back in 1977 - I was hooked from the beginning!
Andrea Hickman Walker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kayla Tornello
I'm not sure that I liked this story so much as I liked the feeling of suspense throughout the book. The characters aren't particularly likable, but I enjoyed the setting in an old convent turned into a grand home. Mostly, I just wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next.
Okay, so this book was really hard to get into and didn't really pick up until almost half way through, the characters in it were pretty much despicable (including the heroine who as far as I can tell had NO redeeming qualities whatsoever), and it ended oddly and dissatisfying. That all being said, I actually really kind of liked it. It would have been better if the heroine had redeemed herself and become someone I could root for, or even like, or if there had been a better climax at the end. Bu ...more
I grew up reading my mom's Victoria Holt novels, and I am still a sucker for historical romances, although I know I'm supposed to be too sophisticated and well-educated to like pulp fiction like this. ;) However, this book was far below Holt's usual quality. Extraordinarily melodramatic, with a very unlikable heroine, and a Cornwall dialect that seemed tortured and unnatural -- I can't say I'll ever read this one again. It was remarkable only in that *SPOILER* it had an unhappy ending -- the onl ...more
Loved it...great characters!
Jun 20, 2009 Shannon added it
Recommends it for: People who love V.H. and everyone else
Recommended to Shannon by: My mum
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2011 Karen added it
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Gothic
Recommended to Karen by: My mother
Shelves: wishlist, to-reread
This is the first book I ever read by Victoria Holt. My mother leant it to me. It was amazing as I was still in school at the time. After almost 35 years I still remember the story. I think of all the books I've read and am still reading by Victoria Holt, Phillippa Carr, and of course Jean Pilady; it is my favorite.

I wish I had a copy. I'd love to re-read it.
Esta novela es diferente de las que le leido de esta autora bajo este seudonimo pero me parecio una version un poco light de una que escribio bajo el seudonimo de Jean Plaidy "Lilith".
Me gusto pero no me encanto. La protagonista es ambiciosa pero, paga las maldades que hace para lograr sus caprichos. Y al final aprende la lección.
Books written by Victoria Holt are so cheesy, but sometimes that's exactly what you need. I've read a loooot of her books when I was 14/15 years old..that was the last time I've read them. I absolutely loved them at the time. I'm thinking of reading one of her books just for the old times sake! =)
Guilty Pleasure - I don't go much for romances, but this isn't a 'bodice-ripper'. It's actually an engaging story about how a young girl uses her opportunities to educate herself and move up in the world, although there is a cost to her family relationships (and, one could argue, her soul).
I do not usually read romance novels, but this is the exception. This book has it all; mystery, several generations, romance, betrayal, and history. I found it to be a page turner. The characters have more depth than this type of book usually offers. I don't think you'll regret reading this one.
Kerensa Carlee
The first Victoria Holt's novel I've read and my all-time favorite book. :)))Everything was so exciting and intriguing. I am sooo in love with this book ever since I started reading this. I love how the narrator and main character,Kerensa Carlee is actually the antagonist. ...more
Toni Moore
First read this in seventh or eighth grade. Really liked it, though it doesn't have a conventionally happy ending. Protagonist is a very strong, independent, and flawed young woman. Lots of atmosphere. Still a good read 40 plus years later.
Carolyn  C.
I guess I'm just not a Victoria Holt fan...I wanted to jump onto the pages and say " get going with this story!!" It drug for me... snooze... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...but I had to finish as I'd paid 50 cents for the book at the library!!
Kathryn Renta
I know, I know, it's a romance novel! But this one has the distinction of being the first grownup novel I ever read. Truly a gothic romance as opposed to a bodice ripper. 30 years later it still holds a place in my heart.
Shirley Brown
I ready many of Vicoria Holt's novel in high school and always liked them. She is a good writer. This story is full of intrigue, love, loss, friendship and she ties them altogether beautifully.
Lori Evans
Was a pretty good book. Had a morale lesson that if your wishes came true you may not like the outcome. Was a good story of life and love and growing up in a kind of puritan setting.
Pretty good story that again kept me guessing to the end. follows the usual Holt formula, but the characters are interesting. I wanted to know what happened to them. entertaining read.
Victoria Holt was one of my favorite authors when I was a young woman, and I still enjoy re-reading these occasionally. Victoria Holt did a great job with characterization.
Katherine Tomlinson
I read all of Victoria Holt's novels when I was a teenager, along with all the other women who wrote gothic/romance type books Loved them all. This one was a favorite.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subjec
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