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The Glass Virgin

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  845 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Annabella Lagrange was the only child of a wealthy family, owners of a glass-works in the North-East of England.When Annabella was seven, she thought the world a delightful place to live in, and only occasionally wondered why her parents never took her beyond the gates of their magnificent country estate.When she was ten she decided that the seclusion didn't really matter ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 1989 by Corgi Books (first published 1969)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,213)
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Mariel
Oct 13, 2011 Mariel rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: virgins
Recommended to Mariel by: prospective authors for the out of print charity bins
How to write a Catherine Cookson historical romance novel. The authoress is dead. This is knowledge gleaned from a few read in middle school and from my ouija board. I didn't take a course that I got from a mail order invite inside a dodgy magazine that I never subscribed to (yeah right).

Make your heroine as simpering and useless as you possibly can. If she is good at anything it has to be cleaning or some kind of housework. Not in the happy way of an Eva Ibbotson (those girls loooooved chores t
...more
Sarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori
Loved it just like I loved the movie!
Laura
A TV series The Glass Virgin (1995) was made based on this book and it is available at YouTube.

From IMDb:
Set in 1870s England, the story tells of Annabella Lagrange and the terrible secret her wealthy parents have kept from her. When she finally learns the truth, she runs away and eventually finds solace in the company of her family's former groom, a young Irishman with the very Spanish name of Manuel Mendoza. Together they travel the Northumbria countryside from job to job in his horse and cara
...more
Ruthliz
As the book started, I could not imagine what was in store for me. Its amazing how Cookson builds Annabella from the young lady she is taught to live like, into the young woman who can hustle in life even with the help of a young courageous groom. I really admire the strength Cookson gives this characer and how she successfully keeps the reader on edge in a bid to know what happens next. I totally love the ending!
Kit★
Jun 02, 2012 Kit★ marked it as to-ponder-sounds-interesting  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, romance
We had a 1 month free trial of Netflix on the PS3, and after I watched all the PBS Masterpiece Classics (the Wuthering Heights one was the greatest) and Jane Austen movies on there, I found a handful of movies based on Cookson's work. I'd heard of her before, but never read her books, in fact I used to get so irritated when I was younger and glomming Catherine Coulter's books and the used book stores would have loads of Cookson's mixed in with Coulter's and I'd get all excited thinking I'd found ...more
Michele
I'm giving it five stars because I found it very satisfying. Took it with me on my trip to Mesa Verde and it was the perfect book to read while I waited to fall asleep in a tent on a mediocre air mattress.

I think a great title for this book might be, "What happens when you don't marry a gentleman." Or, "The truth behind Pride and Prejudice." This book was raw, gritty and real and sometimes you just appreciate a little bit of absolute truth. I felt like this book showed what it was like when you
...more
Emily
Poor character development, poor dialogue, dragging plot, historically inaccurate, not engaging.
Nancy
I've been reading too many arty-type books lately and I suddenly felt a craving for a book with an actual start-middle-end plot and a straight-line narration. A story, in other words. This is an older book (you'll have to get it at the library), but oh, what a delicious story.

Miss Annabella Lagrange is the daughter of her womanizing father, Edmund and his intensely private and prudish wife Rosina. Only, she's not really - Edmund tells Rosina she's the daughter of his whore. But Rosina adores An
...more
Julie
This dragged for me at the beginning, it picked up after a while but I'm afraid the ending then dragged on the last 50 pages were yawn-worthy. I've read a number of Catherine Cookson novels over the years but I think it's safe to say this is the one I have enjoyed less. However, I did manage to finish it within a day hence the 4-star rating.
Carmen
Set in England during the middle 1800's this story is about a woman who is growing up in the wrong class. She has been raised as if she was a part of a rich high-class family. In actual fact, she is the offspring of a prostitute and a manual laborer. The prostitute had told another man that he was the father. The other man is the rich man who raised her. His wife wanted Annabella, as she had no children of her own. The book is full of the class differences and descriptions of the life of that ti ...more
Taffey Champion
This was a very clever tale. I loved the way the heroine fell from aristocratic grace to abject poverty (which is where she really originated from). But, she was not alone and fell deeply in love with her protector and rescuer.
Joanna Mieso
This was a sweet semi-Gothic novel set in Victorian England. A young woman coming of age finds out that her parents are not who she thought they were and she is turned out of her home, as are most of the servants since the family has lost their fortune. The groom who taught her to ride when she was a little girl tries to place her with maternal grandparents to no avail.

The story then focuses on the couple traveling in search of work and trying to find somewhere this girl will fit in and finally
...more
Bloodqueen
Well it was an ok read. It took too long for the good parts and the writing style was well a little subdued. Yea this is probably one book i wont remember.
Ginger
Catherine Cookson has won awards for her writing and sometimes I wonder why, but then I realize not every award winning book must be happy or a fulfilling read.

That said, The Glass Virgin is perhaps the BEST work Cookson did.

Why?

It's the only book I've read in her line that is not FULL of depressing story line, and the hero is truly a hero. Manuel is a gentleman who would no more take advantage of Annabella as cut off his own arm. I love a real noble hero!

This book is fairly clean, it does ment
...more
Laura
Apr 28, 2013 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high school and up
Shelves: 2013
Catherine Cookson writes more gritty alternatives to Georgette Heyer's light-hearted tales of the upper crust. The Glass Virgin portrays the underbelly of English gentry where the men squander their money on philandering and booze while the women bound to them are helpless and trapped. Here one girl finds an escape but only through relinquishing her way of life. At the end, the reader can only hope that her love will strengthen her through poverty and social isolation.
DeEtte
This book is a "period piece", so if you're a fan you'll most likely enjoy it. The story keeps you interested and I really liked the lead male character. However, it kind of just reminded me of a cheap English knock off of "Far and Away" (you know the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman rags to riches/riches to rags epic movie...blah). Still, I finished the book and wasn't bummed out that I did. If you're looking for a strictly fluff novel to read, I recommend.
Sam
Jan 29, 2008 Sam rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy period novels
This is a story of a young girl who grew up with wealth and privlidge only to discover her true heritage at the age of 17 which compels her to leave her life of comfort and go out on her own. Period novels that take place in England are among my favorite genres to read and this was no exception. It deals with the social norms of that time (1800's) similar to Jane Austin. Howver, Cookson is more serious whereas Austin is bit more campy and fun.
Mminyyz
Ver nice story . . . No violence, no swearing and no offensive language - very enjoyable read!
Susie
I have read all of Catherine Cookson's book but this one is my favorite. Annabella had such dreams of love and what her life would be. Her story of privilege and plunge into lower class England is such a strong tale of survival. Catherine Cookson didn't write pretty stories. She wrote the harshness of reality and how people coped with it.
Annie
Apr 16, 2012 Annie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Annie by: youtube
The Glass Virgin was my first introduction to Catherine Cookson, on Youtube. I watched the movie based on this book for the first time on youtube, I enjoyed it enough to try the book. I couldn't get this one right away from the library so I read a couple others first, this one is definitely my favorite so far. Thanks YouTube! :)
♥Robin ♥
This was my first read by Catherine Cookson and I wasn't impressed. There really isn't a lot to say about this book besides the characters were underdeveloped,the plot was very slow, and the dialogue was terrible.ALL AROUND BORING BOOK Then again, I may not be the target audience for this book. It just was not my cuppa!!!
Lilly
Lies.
That is the theme here, everyone lies.

The ''mother'' is the most infuriating character. And it is beyond wrong that the groom falls for a child, and the child for him (though nothing is done about this till she ages, he doesn't seem to, bizarrely.)

A good book for a quick read, but not my favourite.
Lili
I read all of Catherine Cookson's books some years ago and enjoyed them immensley. I recently re-read all of them and find that on a second look I found them all so very predictable, and was rather disappointed. However I'm sure that it is my tastes that have changed not the calibre of her story telling.
Barbra
Annabella Lagrange is the only child of a wealthy family, she thinks the world a wonderful place and only occasionally wonders why her family never takes her beyond the gates of the estate. But she will discover, at the age of 18, the circumstances of her birth and her world will collapse.
Janet Wilcox
English setting. Tells of Annabella who grows up in society and then at 17 her world shatters when she discovers neither her mother or father are her true parents. She flees with the groom, Manuel Mendoza and learns to work as a servant.
Maren
Meh. I am definitely not a period-piece reader. I'm sure this one was good for someone that is into the traditional period romance, but it's just not for me unless it has more action, less talking... :)
Valerie
This is one of the better Cookson books. Some of them get a little too sappy for me, but I love her strong female leads. This is a story of love and survival (as most of her books are).
Susan
As in most of Cookson's books she writes with strong female characters overcoming some pretty horrible circumstances. I also love the English accents given her characters.
Barb
This is a bit formulaic, the story wasn't unpleasant, if there had been more character development I would have enjoyed it more. As it was it was okay, not great, not awful.
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Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for ...more
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