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The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne : a Novel

William John Locke

Book Overview: 

Marcus Ordeyne is a middle aged bachelor schoolmaster who has inherited both money and a title and thus is able to lead a life of leisure. One day, he encounters a young girl in a London park who has escaped from a Turkish harem and has come to London for an arranged marriage; however, her rescuer has unexpectedly died, leaving her destitute. Not knowing what else to do, Sir Marcus takes her to his home – with unexpected consequences.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Brunoro, an old, squinting, paralysed man. Bonna, a little shrivelled, yellow old woman, with a quiver on her shoulder, a bow in her hand; her grey hair is covered by a helmet and she wears great military boots. The picture is magical. There is infinite pathos in the sight of the two withered, crippled, grotesque forms from which all the glamour of manhood and beauty have departed, and infinite awe in the thought of the holy communion of the unconquerable and passionate souls. I wonder it has not come down to us as one of the great love-stories of the world.

Elements such as these sway the Morals of the Renaissance.

But I am taking Mrs. McMurray too seriously; and it is really not a bad idea to have Carlotta taught type-writing.





CHAPTER V

May 26th.

This morning a letter from Judith.

"Do not laugh at me," she writes. "The road to Paris is paved with good intentions. I really could not . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Three and a half stars. The machinery got too creaky towards the end.

3.3 You are writing a lot of rubbish,' says Carlotta. "'And a little truth. The mixture is life,' I answer.

Sometimes our reasons for reading a book are peculiar.

In this case, they certainly are. A friend who is a composer has been working on an opera based on the 22 men Shackleton left on Elephant Island in 1916 when he went to get help from South Georgia. One scene includes the men discussing the ent...more

A very entertaining book. Downtrodden schoolmaster Ordeyne suddenly comes into a title and fortune and as Sir Marcus Ordeye he has no idea of what to do with his wealth and new idleness. Walking through a London park he finds a young girl weeping- it turns out that she is a Harem Girl who has bee...more

Oh, I loved this! Maybe not as much as Simon the Jester, but close, very close.

Marcus is 40, uninterested in having a part in the world outside his library and not worried about life "passing him by". He's content to keep it that way, having no responsibilities towards anyone. That is, until one...more

I've struggled with William Locke before, not finding myself able to finish his books that I started. They were too light for me, too much talk and not enough going on. But this one kept my attention. I'm not certain of the difference, except this narrator sounded and felt very authentic. Maybe t...more

Four stars based on the first and largest part of the book, which was funny and original. The last third or so was pretty melodramatic and felt like a downer to me, but things ended well. With William J. Locke, I've discovered that you never can quite tell what's going to happen next, and his cha...more

William J Locke is one of my "comfort- read" authors. Even books that are not his best are never complete duds, and his plots, while improbable and verbose with the vibrant verbiage of a true verbarian, hit the spot for me. There's no explaining it.

In this story, we have a 40 year old, staid phil...more