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In the Bishop's Carriage

Miriam Michelson

Book Overview: 

Nancy 'Nance' Olden, a young and very pretty woman, is an accomplished liar and thief. Raised in a horrific orphanage, called the Cruelty by its occupants, Nance and her criminal boyfriend, Tom Dorgan, are pulling a con when the book begins. The results of their act propel Nance into a series of events that she could never have imagined. This was Miriam Michelson's first novel and it was considered a 'blockbuster' in its day. Michelson's book was a source of controversy due to the dubious ethics and morals of its heroine.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .So awfully polite was Latimer to such a rat as Moriway. Why? Well, wait. "I can't agree with you. Do you know, I find Miss Omar very feminine. Of course, short hair—"

"Her hair is short, then!"

"Typhoid," I murmured.

"Too bad!" Moriway sneered.

"Yes," I snapped. "I thought it was at the time. My hair was very heavy and long, and I had a chance to sit in a window at Troyon's where they were advertising a hair tonic and—"

Rotten? Of course it was. I'd no business to gabble, and just because you and your new job, Mag, came to my mind at that minute, there I went putting my foot in it.

Moriway laughed. I didn't like the sound of his laugh.

"Your reader is versatile, Mr. Latimer," he said.

"Yes." Latimer smoothed the soft silk rug that lay over him. "Poverty and that sort of versatility are often bedfellows, eh?... Tell me, Mr. Moriway, these lost di. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A rather entertaining classic. Nancy Olden tells her story, from orphan, to thief, to her experiences on stage, to her marriage...more

A fast and fun read.

Oh my goodness!

I have been on a wonderful adventure with a remarkable young women, in the USA at the very beginning of the twentieth century.

Nance Olden had grown up in an orphanage where she had been treated harshly, and then thrown out into the word to fend for herself. She was bright, vivaciou...more

A slow start, but it winds up as the book goes along

I thought, after chapter one, that it was a bit weak, but this book has a strange shift of pace after the establishing chapter, and then becomes a sort of caper or "bad girl makes good" angle. Really interesting and suprisingly modern. Convinci...more

I really enjoyed this story from 1904 about a young woman who had grown up in a cruel orphanage, fell under the influence of a handsome and clever thief when she was too old to live there, and then slowly began to turn her life around. There were a few wonderful characters who trusted, encouraged...more