edited with an introduction and notes by Clare Walker Gore
“Perhaps it may live after all, though one scarcely knows whether to desire it…”
Following the tragic death of his parents, the Earl of Cairnforth inherits his title at just a few hours old. Orphaned, disabled, and facing a life of pain and loneliness, those around him think it might be better if he doesn’t survive. They have reckoned without the indomitable spirit that enables the Earl to transform his estate and touch the lives of everyone he meets. But the hardest challenge of all proves to be betrayal by the woman he has loved since childhood. Can the Earl find a way to build a family, in spite of what he has lost?
In this poignant novel, Dinah Mulock Craik places a disabled hero at the centre of her narrative, offering a radical perspective on nineteenth-century attitudes to disability, family, and what it means to live a worthwhile life.
This edition includes:
- Critical introduction
- Author chronology
- Select bibliography
- Explanatory footnotes
- Excerpts from Craik’s essay on George Eliot
- Selection of contemporary reviews
Clare Walker Gore completed her PhD at Selwyn College, Cambridge in
2015. Her thesis examined the representation of disabled characters in
nineteenth-century fiction. She is taking up a Junior Research Fellowship at
Trinity College, Cambridge in 2016, and her current project explores lifewriting and disability in the nineteenth century.