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The Lost House

Richard Harding Davis

Book Overview: 

Austin Ford, the London correspondent of the New York Republic, is spending some idle time in the American Embassy chatting with the Second Secretary, when suddenly a note is brought in. This note is an appeal for help, found in the gutter in a dark alley. The writer claims to be a young girl, who is kept against her will locked up in a lunatic asylum by her uncle. Although the Second Secretary tries to convince him that there is nothing to it, the journalist is determined to follow the lead.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .rner, hidden by the pillars of a portico, the water dripping from his rain-coat, Ford gazed long and anxiously at the blank windows of the three houses. Like blind eyes staring into his, they told no tales, betrayed no secret. Around him the commonplace life of the neighborhood proceeded undisturbed. Somewhere concealed in the single row of houses a girl was imprisoned, her life threatened; perhaps even at that moment she was facing her death. While, on either side, shut from her by the thickness only of a brick wall, people were talking, reading, making tea, preparing the evening meal, or, in the street below, hurrying by, intent on trivial errands. Hansom cabs, prowling in search of a fare, passed through the street where a woman was being robbed of a fortune, the drivers occupied only with thoughts of a possible shilling; a housemaid with a jug in her hand and a shawl over her bare head, hastened to the near-by public-house; the postman made his rounds, and delivered c. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Get thee to a nunnery.

I had this sentence in my brain bank since I don’t know how long. I finished the book yesterday and was thinking about what I would say in the review and this kept on popping up to my forebrain, so I decided to lead off with it, as it is sort of apropos…. but then wondered wher

Though this book is set in a pre-WWI convent boarding-school and my Catholic elementary (co-ed) education started shortly after Vatican II, I recognize plenty in these pages. During my read, I told my husband (who was raised Lutheran and later became a Baptist) there was no need for Protestants to c

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“Do you know that no character is any good in this world unless that will has been broken completely? Broken and re-set in God’s own way. I don’t think your will has been quite broken, my dear child, do you?”

After converting to Catholicism, nine year old Nanda Gray is

A beautifully observed book, Frost in May is set in a Catholic girls' boarding school in England in the 1910s. Young Nanda Gray, the daughter of a recent convert to Catholicism, at once finds herself entranced by the romanticised religiosity of the nuns and her fellow students, and uneasy with the p

"And do you know that no character is any good in this world unless that will has been broken completely? Broken and re-set in God's own way. I don't think your will has quite been broken, my dear child, do you?"

At first it seems that this is a book about Catholicism but really I think it's abou

I first read this book many years ago and it was interesting to re-read it. This is based on Antonia White's own experiences of life in a convent school. When we first meet Nanda (Fernanda)Grey, she is nine years old and on her way to the Convent of the Five Wounds at Lippington. Her beloved father

4.5 stars
This is an autobiographical novel about life in a Catholic Girls school, quite closely based on White’s own life. Like the protagonist of the novel, Nanda, White was a Catholic convert at the age of nine and was sent to a school very like the one in the book. Nanda wants to be a good Cathol

In her introduction to this novel, author Elizabeth Bowen claims (asserts?) that this is the only girls' school story which can be thought of as, not only a classic, but also a work of art. It's a book which has been long known to me mostly because of Virago founder Carmen Callil's championship of i

On the surface, this is a classic girls' school story, largely autobiographical, told with a simplicity that belies the book's underlying complexity. For it's a Catholic convent school, and recently converted Nanda has somewhat more to face there than the usual run of classes and tests, sports, and

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