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The Ordeal of Elizabeth

Book Overview: 

An unforgettable family saga which revolves around the beautiful young Elizabeth. Elizabeth is orphaned and raised by her spinster aunts. As an adult, she finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage and ultimately falls in love with another man. After telling her lover the truth about her marriage - her husband is found murdered the very next day! This is a story of destiny, temptation, and courage of the heart.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .But you can't live on love," urged Miss Joanna, practically. "You must have some money, you know, and I shouldn't think he, poor young man, had anything—at least, judging by his clothes. 61 Those artists never have, they say. And meat, and everything indeed, never was so dear as it is now."

"I didn't know you were so worldly, Aunt Joanna," said Elizabeth, loftily. "Do you want me to marry for money?" Miss Joanna was crushed. But as she reflected in her own justification, one had to have something to eat, let lovers say what they would.

"My dear," said Miss Cornelia, coming to the rescue with the little air of dignity that she could sometimes assume "we certainly wouldn't want you—not for the world—to marry for money. But one has to be—to be prudent. We have brought you up in a way—perhaps it was unwise—poor Mother would have thought so. But at any rate you know nothing about economy, and—and you have only a. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Extremely thorough, engaging history. It really brought the time period (1750-90 or so) alive in a new way for me. A nice break from my usual fiction reading.

Be wary of the reviews of this book on Goodreads. In my opinion, The New York Times Book Review was much more sensible naming this one of their 10 Best Books of the Year for 2007.

Linda Colley’s The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh is an excellent historical account equal to the works of David McCullough a

The author wrote, "In this book I have been concerned to examine how a momentous and disruptive period of global history was experienced by one extended family. I have sought to reveal the many and diverse connections that existed between 'impersonal and remote transformations' on the one hand and,

Il titolo di questo libro farebbe pensare a una semplice biografia, mentre qui c'è molto di più. Raccontando la storia di una vita Linda Colley ricostruisce tutta un'epoca. Come dice lei stessa nell'epilogo, citando il romanziere John Galsworthy, "un modo per riassumere e rappresentare la storia di

I want to read more books like this...

Fantastic Read. It's also a tremendously clever project. It nicely bridges the gaps between two types of history. The choice of subject is inspired, and the detective work that must have been require to put this together is awe-inspiring. The writing and executi

In journalism, there's a saying: Show, don't tell. Sometimes I think other disciplines could learn from this. There is no question the author conducted an inordinate amount of research and pieced together information from multiple continents. The book's concept is fascinating -- using the life of an

I recently read a scholarly work of naval-social history that raked the author of this book, Linda Colley, over the coals for no good reason that I could ascertain. It was really unseemly, and it wasn't based upon this book, but her book BRITONS. *My* annoyance with the good professor is that in add

It seems to me that this book was badly -- or erroneously -- marketed. At any rate, I'd expected from the reviews and jacket blurbs something far less academic, bordering on clinical, and something more entertaining instead. That's not to say The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh was not an interesting book

In and of herself Elizabeth Marsh has little historical significance. She was not married to or related to any important historical figures; she played no major role in any wars, catastrophes, scandals, elections; her travels in Europe, North Africa and India, whilst unusual for a woman in her age,

A lot of the reviews here seem to be criticizing the book Colley didn't write. Yes, this is an academic work of history. Colley is a professor at Princeton, so to expect a work of pop history or journalism pretending to be history is foolish. As a historical study, it's very good. Colley uses the ve

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