Rachel Ray (Oxford World's Classics)
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Rachel Ray offers a masterly and entertaining evocation of a small community living its life in mid-nineteenth-century England. The novel first appeared in 1863, a year in which public reaction against the excesses of the popular sensationalist novel prompted Trollope to state that he was writing about "the commonest details of commonplace life among the most ordinary people."
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yet another trouble. It was difficult for them to get people proper to meet Mrs. Butler Cornbury; but what must they do as to those people who must come and who were by no means proper to meet her? There were the Griggses for instance, who lived out of town in a wonderfully red brick house, the family of a retired Baslehurst grocer. They had been asked before Mrs. Cornbury's call had been made, or, I fear, their chance of coming to the party would have been small. There was one young Griggs, a
in the new dress. Ah!—that was surely wicked. But if so, how wicked are most mothers in this Christian land! The morning had gone very comfortably with them during Dorothea's absence. Mrs. Prime had hardly taken her departure before a note came from Mrs. Butler Cornbury, confirming Mr. Comfort's offer as to the carriage. "Oh, papa, what have you done?"—she had said when her father first told her. "Now I must stay there all the night, for of course she'll want to go on to the last dance!" But,
raise no money for such a purpose. He would have no dealings with so foul a traitor except through his lawyer, Honyman. "But Honyman thinks you'd better settle with him," pleaded Mrs. T. "Then I'll go to another lawyer," said Tappitt. "If Honyman won't stand to me I'll go to Sharpit and Longfite. They won't give way as long as there's a leg to stand on." For the time Mrs. Tappitt let this pass. She knew how useless it would be to tell her husband at the present moment that Sharpit and Longfite
himself. He had, however, been on very intimate terms with all the ladies of the family; even for Mrs. Tappitt he had felt a friendship; and for the girls—especially for Cherry—he had learned to entertain an easy brotherly affection, which had not weighed much with him as it grew, but which it was not in his nature to throw off without annoyance. He had acknowledged to himself, as soon as he found himself among them, that the Tappitts did not possess, in their ways and habits of life, quite all
however, did not belong to Mrs. Ray, but to Rowan. He had the gift of making himself at home with people, and had done much towards winning the widow's heart, when, after an interval of ten minutes, the two followed Rachel into the house. Rachel then had her hat on, and was about to go over the green to the farmer's house. "Mamma, I'll just run over to Mrs. Sturt's for some cream," said she. "Mayn't I go with you?" said Rowan. "Certainly not," said Rachel. "You'd frighten Mrs. Sturt out of all