A very old chestnut plucked from the fire, this is a reprint of an 1899 novel by Emily Morse Symonds (pen name: George Paston) describing a young woman who moves to London to pursue a literary career in the twilight of the Victorian Age. Cosima Chudleigh is a good example of what the English used to call a "New Woman." The daughter of a provincial librarian, she has grown up in an intellectual household and has never really had any passions not in some way connected to books. At 22, she decides to move by herself to London, where she hopes more easily to find fame and success as a writer. Possessed of some small capital, she can afford to live without other income for up to two years while she writes and looks for publishers. At her boardinghouse she makes the acquaintance of Mr. Carlton, a literary critic who promises to introduce her to some of the many publishers he works with, but it's soon apparent that Carlton's motives are more sexual than literary and that he's a philistine hack, to boot. Cosima finds better companionship in Bess Heywood, a beautiful actress who despises men and takes delight in tormenting those unfortunate enough to fall in love with her. Eventually, Cosima publishes a novel but makes so little money from it that she's tempted to give up the effort to write. She is rescued from despair by the reappearance of Tom Kingston, a childhood friend who turns up in London and asks Cosima to marry him. Bess Heywood is horrified at the idea, but Cosima agrees and the two settle down to a happy, dull domesticity—until Cosima meets the brilliant Quentin Mallory, a historian who loves Cosima and (unlike Tom) appreciates her work. But she can't bring herself to leaveher husband until Bess provides her with some rather startling news. Slow, obvious, and melodramatic: an interesting period piece, not much more.