Leah Considine is our narrator remembering back to when she was a Young girl.Her father was the local curate and Always on the outsides of her World w
Leah Considine is our narrator remembering back to when she was a Young girl.Her father was the local curate and Always on the outsides of her World was the Aske family.
Her life becomes involved with theirs when her mother suddenly dies leaving her father a grieving widower. When Lady Kintyre the daughter of the Aske matriarch offers to console him one thing leads to Another and they form an attachment and marry. Their happiness is cut short however when both are killed in an horrific carriage accident on their honeymoon.
Now Leah is truly an orphan but she is taken in by Old Madam Aske her stepgrandmother to be raised at the mansion alongside the the two Aske Children,the heir is Peter(a sadistic creep) and Ann (a Beautiful dimwit)
Peter grows up to become a spendthrift degenerate and gambles away the ancestral home leaving the Aske womenfolk on the mercies of Simon Carden who is the bastard son of the eldest son of Old Madam but who was killed fighting for the Jacobites. Simon harbors resentment being not only denied his birthright but also blaming the Askes for the Death of his mother.
And now when he has become a rich man he wants it all from the house to marrying Ann Aske and taking her name.
I am not sure I have ever been so equally bored AND appalled by a book.
Now dont get me wrong when I pick up a gothic I dont excpect it to be all sunshine and happiness.I do expect many things like old forbidding houses,strange families and Deaths. (not to mention the heroine running scared in a nightgown.)
But the "Devil of Aske" first of all suffers from lifeless writing and the first person omniscient narration of an old Leah reciting her life makes for a plodding dry read and people are rarely shown as interacting and only occassionally being allowed to have dialogues but somehow still inexplicably manages to connect with each other
If you are not turned off by the writing style then you might want to avoid this because of the animal torturing and how Leah (view spoiler)[starts getting molested and is later raped by the adolescent Peter and he shoves a stone up her lady parts. (hide spoiler)]
"I wrote the book in a few weeks as a joke," said Magdalen King-Hall, author of "The Diary of a Young Lady of Fashion in the Year 1764-1765," publishe"I wrote the book in a few weeks as a joke," said Magdalen King-Hall, author of "The Diary of a Young Lady of Fashion in the Year 1764-1765," published in 1926. "If I had realized that so many distinguished persons would take it seriously, I would have spent more time and pains on it."
Miss King-Hall's imaginary diarist, Cleone Knox, supposedly had traveled around 18th-century Europe, meeting and recording her impressions of Voltaire and King Louis XV of France, among others. Critics declared the diary authentic partly because it contained obsolete expressions and spelling and lots of capital letters.
"Her diary must take its place beside that of Mr. Pepys," one critic wrote. Another opined, "No modern girl will ever write a diary like this. Cleone Knox breathes the very spirit of the witty, robust, patriotic, wicked, hard-drinking, hard-swearing 18th century." The diary went through several printings on both sides of the Atlantic.
Six months after its publication, 19-year-old Miss King-Hall admitted that she had written the diary because she was bored. And she did have a lively imagination. About her visit with Voltaire, she wrote, "The great man received us in a chintz dressing gown. ... Sometimes affable, more often peevish. To tell the truth, he reminded me of nothing so much as a chattering old magpie. We listened, silent, with the Respect which is due to Genius, however Wearisome it may be."