Posted by: Lizzie Ross | July 20, 2010

Not quite Feydeau

The Court of Love (1906), Alice Brown, Houghton, Mifflin, 211 pp.

For very silly stuff, this book is unbeatable. Combine an inattentive husband (Peter Maxwel), his dissatisfied wife (Katherine M.), her wealthy best friend (Julia Leigh), and an unattached male (Jack Silverstream), and there’s only one ending point that will satisfy readers of 1906. Whether the plot will satisfy readers of a century later depends on our tolerance for old-fashioned romance.

The Court of Love is Julia Leigh’s country manor, where she uses her money to satisfy every guest’s every wish. Everyone eventually ends up there, including Maxwell’s butler and a young child believed to have been kidnapped. Julia’s manor is the location of a very Feydeau-ian scene towards the end, with people going in and out of various doors and just missing each other by seconds.

No need to rush to your used bookshop to locate this. Like most of the books under review this week, you can read this online (at GoogleBooks).

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