Ninette: An Idyll ofProvence

Ninette: An Idyll ofProvence

by Charlotte Dempster
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Overview

A story by the author of Vera would naturally give rise to great expectations among the lovers of good fiction; the more so as an interval of ten years has elapsed since that popular writer produced her last novel. In these days of rapid succession of events and inventions, either of the head or hand, it is no small compliment to the author that "Vera" should still be so 'freshly remembered;' but so long as Englishmen are Englishmen the story in which the fortunes of a Crimean hero are made with consummate skill to blend with those of a beautiful daughter of Russia, will hold its own, not only for this, but through many a succeeding generation. Wide as the poles asunder is the difference between the story of "Vera and that of the writer's latest work, "Ninette." In plot, situations, and character it would be difficult to conceive a greater contrast than that presented by the two novels. There is only one exception, the spot where the scene is laid, and which, to judge from the masterly description, the thorough knowledge of the country, with its agricultural resources and the habits of the people, has certainly not in vain been the residence of the writer for the last seventeen years. It is to this aspect of the Riviera that the reader's attention is directed—the study of the native character and humbler method of life pursued by the natural inhabitants of the Maritime Alps rather than to the gay, esoteric existence of the English and foreign society which frequent the fashionable resorts of Cannes and Nice. Dedications of books are seldom even looked at, much less studied; but in them, as in the second title of the book, there very often lies the clue to the succeeding pages—a clue, in the first instance, to the spirit in which they are composed, in the second to the subject they profess to treat.

"Ninette" is dedicated with much grace and feeling to the memory of a lady whose inherited claim to rank and distinction became merged in the title of 'Duchess of the Poor,' which she won for herself by a life of benevolence and self-denial spent among her poorer brethren. Here, then, is the clue to the true appreciation of such claims upon every thoughtful and generous mind which is the key note of the story ; while the second title of the book, "An Idyll of Provence," makes any further introduction unnecessary to the perfect picture of French country life which is laid before the reader.

–Church Quarterly Review, Vol. 27 [1889]

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781663511706
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Press
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Charlotte Dempster (1835 – 1913) was a Scottish novelist, essayist and author, noted also as a collector of folklore, especially in the Highland county of Sutherland. She spent much of her life in France. According to a modern critic, Dempster's novels "use a variety of settings to treat potentially serious subjects in a superficial way." Her book "The Hôtel du Petit St. Jean, A Gascon Story" appeared in 1869, but "Vera" is said to be the first novel, in 1871. Others were "Iseulte" (1875), "Blue Roses" (1877), "Within Sound of the Sea" (1879), "Marjorie's Husband" (1888) "Ninette: an Idyll of Provence" (1888), "The Dance of the Hours" (1893) and "The Year Book of the Holy Souls" (1901).

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