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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

(Nearly 3.5) “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.” The first-ever Virago Modern Classic, and a noteworthy one: a novel about a young girl’s experience at a Catholic boarding school between the...more

"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 abo...more

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 fath...more

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 Cat...more

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 o...more

Unforgettable story. I finished this 3 weeks ago and still don’t know quite how to review it. Almost anything I say about it will give the story’s ending away. It was somewhat spoiled for me in reading the blurb on the back cover (which I wish I hadn’t). So I’ll leave it at a story which felt lik...more

It will not be an easy task for me to write a review of this book. I am afraid it will be too personal but I hope a reader forgives me.

I should explain at the beginning that I grew up in a very Catholic country. Some say that is more Catholic than Vatican, at least it was, because nowadays it is...more

This book brought back many memories for me of my education at a Catholic convent school. Nanda's father is a convert to Catholicism. Her father decides to send Nanda to the convent school of The Five Wounds where she can be educated as a Christian and also learn much more about her newly adopted...more

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, a...more

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