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Book Cover for: Emmeline: The Orphan of the Castle, Charlotte Smith

Emmeline: The Orphan of the Castle

Charlotte Smith

Emmeline Mowbray's history is shrouded in mystery. The common story is that she is the illegitimate daughter of a Lord, but there are very few corroborating documents. It is also said that both her parents are dead.


She lives precariously alone, under the distant protection of an uncle whom she has never seen, at the old family seat, Mowbray Castle, in a remote part of Pembrokeshire. Parts of the castle have fallen into ruin, and her only companions are the small set of retainers who keep the estate ticking over, especially Mrs. Carey, the housekeeper, who loves her tenderly.


Mrs. Carey's death, like a rock cast into a pool, precipitates a series of resounding changes, rippling through Emmeline's circumstances. She is finally introduced to her wealthy uncle, Lord Montreville, who is sometimes sympathetic and sometimes cold, most unaccountably. More importantly she meets his son, Lord Delamere, a wild rake, who quickly becomes infatuated with her undoubted youthful beauty.


Delamere's ravenous attentions send the inexperienced Emmeline on a whirlwind of relocation, as she desperately avoids his all-out advances, again and again. She escapes to relations of Mrs. Carey initially, and there finds a staunch friend in another young woman, Mrs. Stafford, who is also struggling in great jeopardy, in her case with a disastrous marriage.


Emmeline suffers, as she ventures, extraordinary advances and reverses of fate, and watches fascinatedly that of the people with whom she has begun to associate in her emergence into the wider milieu of London and the Continent. Some of them are wickedly humorous, some inveterately evil, and some emerge as her dearest allies in a dangerous world. She also meets Godolphin, a brilliant officer, whose love for her is as absolute as it is unspoken. Can Emmeline find a way through this puzzling and hazardous maze to the truth, about love, and about herself?


Emmeline was Charlotte Smith's arresting first novel, first published in 1788. It was immediately popular, influencing, among others, Ann Radcliffe and Jane Austen.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Michael Walmer
  • Publish Date: Jul 25th, 2023
  • Pages: 800
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.00in - 5.25in - 1.77in - 1.98lb
  • EAN: 9780645751901
  • Categories: ClassicsWomenWorld Literature - England - 18th Century
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