Introducing: “Aurora Leigh” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning


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Every once in a while a book comes along that surprises us by spellbinding us, opening new worlds and speaking to us in ways books from our childhood used to do. These kinds of books remind of us of things we had forgotten about, resurrecting childhood wonderment about nature, the world and a God possibly lurking underneath it all. Aurora Leigh surprised me in this manner. The incredible poetry, astonishing metaphor and startling epiphanies make the book difficult to describe or summarize. Some will shrink from the idea of reading a poem as long as a book, but if you are looking for Christian Victorian literature, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh is it. Described as the “perfect poetical expression of the Age,” I can’t underscore enough that this book is the consummate find of my blog thus far.

Protagonist and orphan Aurora Leigh rejects her cousin’s offer of marriage and a wealthy inheritance to blaze her own path as a female writer. Aurora constantly ruminates on her faith in God, her function as an artist (especially a female one), the nature and purpose of art itself from a Christian perspective and her duty to her fellow suffering humans. Despite its heavy theological and philosophical bent, Aurora Leigh is entirely readable and contains all the usual conventions of a Victorian novel, such as the impossible romance, as well as some of the more gothic elements of the “Romantic” 19th century novel, i.e. Italian landscapes and raging fevers.  Don’t let theology in the form of a poem the length of a novel intimidate you, though; if you pass this one up you will be missing out on one of the reads of a lifetime.




Introducing “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë


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 “I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man.” – Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre (1847) is a novel that needs no introduction as a classic, that’s for certain. But why it is rarely regarded as a Christian novel appears a mystery to me, as the novel is surely one woman’s constant struggle to reconcile the desires of her heart with the will of God, with references to God in heaven as explicit in meaning and numerous in quantity as those in any modern Christian romance or amish fiction. And yet I have never seen it on any Bible bookstore shelf. The fact that it is gothic and disturbing in nature signifies little, considering other works of fiction that contain violence or horror, such as Frank Peretti novels or the multitude of spy and terrorist bestsellers (which unfortunately tend to be more of the drugstore paperback caliber), that span the shelves at Christian bookstores and libraries. The only conclusion I can arrive at is that, firstly, the book is simply too intellectual, and secondly, the church has long abandoned classic art (we rarely see Bach in the music section either, although we are seeing a revival in hymnody, at least).*

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Jane Eyre is often framed as a “beauty and the beast” narrative, but her romance with the unbecoming Mr Rochester occupies only half or more of the novel; in actuality, the story is about Jane and the choices she must make in defiance of those who would control her, as well as her reactions to the twists of providence that leave her with little choice at all. The Christian reading that I extract from the novel is that Jane only achieves happiness by acting in accordance with both the law of God and the Spirit of God – by walking in both obedience and love.  Jane loves Mr. Rochester desperately, but chooses not to marry him because such an adulterous action would be disobeying God’s law. She also refuses to marry St. John Rivers, even though he offers her lawful matrimony, because it would not be a covenant formed in love, and she believes God made marriage to be both lawful and loving; because neither Rochester nor Rivers offer her both, she must live a chaste and solitary life so as to be faithful to God’s will.

Both men’s offers are a source of temptation to Jane; Rochester’s adulterous affair entices her with the indulgence of her senses and emotions (“while he spoke my very conscience and reason turned traitors against me….They spoke almost as loud as Feeling: and that clamoured wildly. ‘Oh, comply!’ it said. ‘Think of his misery…soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his.'”), and Rivers lays before her religious security: “Religion called – Angels beckoned – God commanded – life rolled together like a scroll – death’s gates opening, showed eternity beyond: it seem, that for safety and bliss there, all here might be sarificed in a second.”  But Heaven cannot be gained here on Earth in defiance of God; neither can Heaven be won through human toil on Earth. Neither earthly pleasure nor toil can secure true happiness, Jane knows full well.  Jane knows the voice of the devil when it tempts her, and makes the better choice than Eve. For all Rochester’s arguments that she would not be a mistress, but his genuine wife, because his first marriage was a sham, Jane knows that to admit anything other than the truth is “sophistical – is false.” She clings to her faith, explaining to the reader the motive for her actions and perhaps the  definitive statement of her faith:

 “I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man…. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation; they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth –  so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane – quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.'”

Here is where modern romances part ways with Jane Eyre; being in love, Bronte says, can be a kind of madness that affects one’s ability to think rationally and we should not allow it to become our slavemaster. Modern popular doctrine of the Eat, Pray, Love variety urges exactly the opposite: just follow your heart (consider, in contrast, Jeremiah 17:9 and how it applies to Jane Eyre). Certainly, “I need to follow my heart” is the refusal Jane gives Rivers (in much more eloquent wording) in answer to his proposal of marriage, but of course her heart is bound to God first and foremost and tempered by his law, and so even though her heart calls her after Rochester, she does not follow it but instead chooses to watch that dream float away. Her faithfulness to God is rewarded later in life when she is able to legally marry Rochester.

But there is more than just the specter of adultery that shocks Jane to her senses after her failed wedding. Jane also realizes that

“My future husband was becoming to me my whole world; and more than the world: almost my hope of heaven. He stood between me and every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and the broad sun. I could not, in those days, see God for his creature: of whom I had made an idol.”

Contrary to film adaptations and academic readings of the book that stupidly, in the case of the former, turn a blind eye, and in the latter, subordinate it to a feminist narrative, Jane Eyre is about Jane’s working out of her faith. It is categorically a Christian novel, a story dealing with sin, salvation, redemption, the ten commandments, mercy, grace, the afterlife – the whole nine yards, much more than can be covered in one blog post. Surely we can start stocking it on the shelves of Christian bookstores now.

* Also it doesn’t help that the film industry completely erases most traces of Christianity in most film adaptations of classic literature. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is an excellent (read: terrible) example of this.


Read works by Charlotte’s sister Anne:

Introducing “Agnes Grey” by Anne Brontë

Fruits of the Spirit in “Agnes Grey” by Anne Brontë

Introducing the Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë





Introducing “The Bridge of History Over the Gulf of Time” by Thomas Cooper


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The enormous scope suggested by the Image result for bridge of history over the gulf of timestriking metaphorical title of Thomas Cooper’s non-fictional work The Bridge of History Over the Gulf of Time (1871) has always intrigued me, so I was excited to finally get my hands on a copy (the book is out of print). The work is actually an apologetic defence of the historicity of Christ, that he was a real person who died and rose again – a kind of nineteenth century Case for Christ, if you will. However, The Bridge of History’s approach is different, as Cooper seeks to trace the origin of Christianity backwards through time, century by century, showing how the faith could not have been invented or embellished in any era going all the way back to the first century A.D., bringing us to encounter Christ himself, a real historical figure – hence the metaphor in the title. The evidence from each century function as planks the reader walks across to bridge the gulf of time that stretches between Christ and himself. (Victorians reign supreme when it comes to metaphors, in my humble opinion.)

Like Lee Strobel after him, Cooper also tackles with lawyer-like tenacity the authority and reliability of the gospel writers and their claims. The book is written partly in response to a controversial work entitled Das Leben Jesu, kritisch bearbeitet (1835) (The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined) by German scholar David Friedrich Strauss, who denied Christ’s divinity by maintaining that his resurrection and miracles were merely mythical narratives created by the church, although he did probably exist. The translation of the text into English by Marian Evans (who went by the pen name “George Eliot” when writing novels) invoked contention in England as the original did in Germany. Unfortunately, Evans, one of the finest Victorian novelists, lost her Christian faith by studying Strauss and other German philosophers.

Thomas Cooper was born in Leicester and eventually became a journalist and poet with Chartist sympathies, for which he was jailed for two years. In 1855, he converted to Christianity and became a Baptist preacher. For thirty years Cooper lectured as a Christian apologist, defending the faith against Darwinian ideas. These lectures form the basis of The Bridge of History Over the Gulf of Time.

How to Acquire Rare and Out-of-Print Books


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Last month I received a Christmas present from an avid reader of Christian Victorian Literature: a couple dozen rare and out-of-print Christian Victorian novels. Thanks to this generous contribution, I will not be wanting for material for my blog for quite some time, that’s for certain.

I’ve been intending for a while to make a post about how to acquire rare or out-of-print classic literature (if you aren’t fortunate enough to have people sending you them for free in the mail!). Several options present themselves for those readers seeking novels…

…that are a little more intellectually stimulating and theologically complex than many Christian novels of today;

…that actually speak from a time in history, rather than try to imagine or recreate it;

…that present grand, meaningful narratives that impart truth and wisdom, rather than disparate snapshots of the “messiness” that we call modern life;

…and that demonstrate a general competency in the English language that astonishingly exceeds contemporary fiction writing (ironically many of these were written by women who supposedly received an inferior education to women today).

If those criteria seem attractive, then literature from another century might be for you.

Many great Victorian novels, unfortunately, are no longer printed, and many that are do not draw enough popular interest for your local Indigo to stock them. So how does one acquire and read rare or out-of-print books? The good news is that all Victorian novels are in the public domain, which means their copyright no longer stands, making them cheap and, in some instances, free to access.

Online Bookstores

Of course Amazon is a great source for finding a wide selection of books. The Book Depository, based in Britain, carries many European books and offers free shipping.

The Advanced Book Exchange is the go-to source for rare and out-of-print books. Used bookstores around the world list their titles here, making it possible to find just about any book imaginable, including very old editions from the early 1900s (maybe even some from the Victorian era itself). Pay attention to the rating of the book’s physical condition; I no longer buy anything described as less than “good.” Select from the dropdown menu to sort by “lowest total price.”


If you don’t mind reading off of a computer screen, you can read most any Victorian novel for free at Project Gutenberg. If you have an e-reader, Amazon offers entire collections of authors’ works for only a few dollars. The Bronte collection is only 80 cents.


You can listen to Victorian novels read aloud for free at Librivox. Because the readers are volunteers, the quality varies, but some are equal to professional audio recordings.


A word about reprints. On Amazon and Abe you will come across brand-new printings of out-of-print books by publishers from India or other unusual countries. They will have some disclaimer saying that the book is a direct copy of the original, and so any publishing mistakes are from the original and such. Typically the books have a generic picture on the front that has nothing to with the story, such as a tree. I generally don’t recommend these because they are so aesthetically displeasing. The book is oversized, the margins are large, the font microscopic and uneasy on the eyes, and the formatting looks like amateur Microsoft Word. You may chance upon a better edition than I’ve described, but that has been my experience. The books I received from a reader pictured above are reprints published through Lulu, and look like they will offer a more pleasurable reading experience.

What rare books have you read and where did you acquire them? Have you ever read an out-of-print book, or is there one on your list?

Christian School Catechism Includes Excerpt From Jane Eyre


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Classical schools emphasize, among many other subjects, the study of classic art and literature, and the use of memorization to retain and internalize knowledge. Interestingly, a teacher of a Modern European Humanities class at Veritas School, a classical Christian school in Virginia, has included a powerful excerpt from Jane Eyre as part of his daily catechism for his students to recite and commit to memory.  Charlotte Brontë herself would have been educated in the classical method (as was Jane), so I think she would approve.

The excerpt from Jane Eyre, which answers question 8 of the the catechism, follows.

I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, themore I will respect myself.  I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man.  I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad—as I am now.  Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be.  If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?  They have a worth—so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane—quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.

Read about how Jane Eyre is a Christian novel. 

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Introducing “The Shopkeeper’s Daughter” by George MacDonald


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“God’s love is not founded upon any merit – it rests only upon being and need.” -George MacDonald

Image result for the shopkeeper's daughter george macdonaldThe Shopkeeper’s Daughter is another abridged work by George MacDonald, edited and republished by Elizabeth Guignard Hamilton. Like in The Fisherman’s Lady, MacDonald presents the reader with the ideal Christian, only this time in the form of a lady, Mary Marston.

Most of the other characters in The Shopkeeper’s Daughter hardly know how to understand or categorize Mary, a Christian woman devoted wholly to the will and work of the Lord, who submits cheerfully to the tasks of her low station as shopkeeper and lady’s maid and yet disregards the importance and value of class.  Her willingness to accept work without pay and to lend aid to anyone she can is viewed with suspicion by those who do not care about or believe in God. Most – excepting Jasper Joseph, another individual seeking humbly to follow Christ’s footsteps, who recognizes Mary’s Christly virtue immediately – assume her to have selfish motives, because they themselves cannot conceive of any other kind of life.

True, Mary’s character is not the most developed and her saintliness is perhaps too perfect, apart from a weak struggle with temper she overcomes early in the novel. The Shopkeeper’s Daughter does not achieve the depth and interest of The Fisherman’s Lady, but it offers a light, interesting read nonetheless. It is mostly worth reading for the sake of, firstly, tracing the origins of C. S. Lewis’ thoughts, and, secondly, for encountering beautiful expressions of truth such as follow below.

“But what is love and loss and even defilement, what are pains and hopes and disappointments, what sorrow and death and all the ills that our flesh is heir to, but means to this very end, to this waking of the soul to seek the home of our being – the life eternal?”

“On the contrary, He is the only Man who is no exception. We are the exceptions. Don’t you see? He is the very One we must all come to be like, or perish!

“She knew there is no bond so strong, so close or so lasting as the truth. In God alone, who is the truth, can creatures meet.


Read a review of George MacDonald’s Phantastes, a totally different kind of novel. 

Other books about the ideal Victorian lady:


Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë

Fruits of the Spirit in Agnes Grey

The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Prejudice and Suffering in North and South

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth E. Prentiss

Introducing “The Fisherman’s Lady” by George MacDonald


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“If God be light, then death itself must be full of splendor – a splendor probably too keen for our eyes to receive.” – George MacDonald

I typically avoid abridged books (condensed, edited or simplified versions of classic literature) because too much of what makes a classic enjoyable in the first place is removed – eloquent writing, beautiful imagery, profound metaphors. Plot alone does not make a classic; as every good writer knows, all the elements of literature – plot, character, setting, theme, figurative language – work together to produce a harmonizing work of art. Reading an abridged classic is akin to plunking out the melody of the Hallelujah chorus on the piano with one finger. The effect is just not the same.

Unfortunately, some classics contain archaic language, the unfamiliarity of which renders them more or less inaccessible to today’s reader. (As a side note, even university students rely on footnotes to understand Shakespeare.) Thus the reason why many Victorian novels have fallen into obscurity. I have even abandoned reading a couple myself for this blog. If a talented writer could carefully and respectfully edit an obscure classic, to make it comprehensible for today’s reader, while still maintaining the original style, charm, and richness, that would be ideal.

Michael Phillips has done this with The Fisherman’s Lady by George MacDonald, originally titled Malcolm and published in 1875. In the original text, the characters speak Scots, making much of the dialogue incomprehensible to modern-day readers (see an example here). Phillips desired to stay as true to MacDonald’s original work as possible, aiming to retain for the 20th century reader (The Fisherman’s Lady was published in 1982) the style, tone, themes and language which first drew him to MacDonald and inspired him to resurrect his works so that others could enjoy them too. The result is a suspenseful gothic tale set in the rustic countryside of Scotland, peopled with a range of noble and evil characters. Some scenes are quite humourous and memorable, and throughout the book you can see foreshadowing of C. S. Lewis’ thoughts in the dialogue and themes (C. S. Lewis said that he never wrote a book in which he did not quote George MacDonald).

Malcolm is the ideal Christian man in The Fisherman’s Lady, the Victorian exemplar of the noble gentleman, a man who strives to be the picture of Christ – always serving others, putting himself last, acting humbly, seeking to please God above all else, no matter the cost to his life or his reputation – in a word, chivalrous (a term that has unfortunately become soured). The Victorian theme of station and class pervades the novel, but it is juxtaposed with Biblical teachings such as wealth being an obstacle for salvation, the equality of the rich and poor in God’s eyes, and God’s prioritizing of the heart rather than the appearance. Pleasing God is Malcolm’s preeminent ambition, and so when he seeks advice from Miss Horn upon being wrongly accused of a wicked act and she says “Who wouldn’t rather be accused of all the sins of the Commandments than to be guilty of one of them?”, Malcolm immediately accedes the truth of this statement and bothers himself little more about the scandalous gossip.

Malcolm also takes the teaching about being obedient and submissive to one’s master very seriously, seeking to honour the Marquis, his employer, even though the Marquis himself does not always act honourably and honestly. Malcolm answers first and foremost to God.  And he shares the truth about Christ and his coming kingdom with others from a variety of places on their spiritual journeys, resulting in rich, interesting theological ideas and questions being parried about between the characters in their conversations. Malcolm is also quite witty and playful in his speech, and that delight combined with the mystery of his birth and the intrigue of the horrific “wizard’s chamber” make this tale a thoroughly enjoyable, unputdownable read, brimming with potential for a great Christian movie, if anyone’s listening.


Read a review of George MacDonald’s Phantastes, a totally different kind of novel. 

Other books about the ideal Victorian gentleman:

Lorna Doone – R. D. Blackmore

The Heir of Redclyffe – Charlotte M. Yonge




Introducing “Sonnets From the Portuguese” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.” – Sonnet XXVI

Image result for sonnets from the portugueseIt should come as no suprise that poets, who tend to feel passionately and think intensely, should fall passionately and intensely in love. “First time he kissed me, he but only kissed / The fingers of this hand wherewith I write,” swooned Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her love poems to her husband, Robert Browning, in Sonnets From the Portuguese (1850), and went on to describe how that kiss affected her hand so that her hand almost takes on a life of its own, as does the imprint of the kiss itself. Barrett’s gaze of love imbues inanimate objects with life, as if love enables one to see the very atoms and molecules of the universe dancing.

The adoration E. B. Browning declares for her husband in Sonnets is so passionate that it might come across to modern Christian readers (who are typically unfamiliar with not only classic poetry in general but sonnets in particular – the classic love poem which sets the beloved as an object of worship and admiration) as idol worship, but I would humbly suggest such a reaction might indicate how little we adore God himself, as our veneration for him ought to be even greater (and our love for our spouses greater as well).  But E. B. Browning writes in Sonnets that “God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame,” revealing how the greatest gift of her life, her husband, who is a more wonderful gift than she could ever have dreamed of, proves God’s superior goodness and worthiness.  “Atheists are…dull, who cannot guess God’s presence out of sight,” she scoffs in Sonnet XX; gifts must come from a giver, and a good gift comes from an even greater giver. Image result for the barretts of wimpole street

Browning’s life story was dramatic. Robert Browning became enraptured with her poetry, and arranged to meet the poet on her sickbed, whereupon he fell deeply in love with her. However, to elude Elizabeth’s tyrannical father, who refused to consent to any of his children marrying, Elizabeth and Robert married secretly and fled to Italy, where she recovered her health and they lived happily. The Browning’s romance was dramatized in a 1930’s film titled The Barretts of Wimpole Street, which was nominated for two Oscars.

The title for E. B. Brownings Sonnets From the Portuguese arises from Robert Browning affectionately calling her “my little Portuguese,” because of her dark hair and complexion. One of the most famous poems from the collection, “Sonnet XLIII: How Do I Love Thee?”, follows.


How Do I Love Thee? 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Read more about Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s novel Aurora Leigh on CVL:

Introducing “Aurora Leigh” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Faith vs. Works in “Aurora Leigh” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Introducing “The Heir of Redclyffe” by Charlotte M. Yonge


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“His eyes filled with tears,
[and] the most subduing and healing of all thoughts – that of the great Example – became present to him; the foe was driven back.” – The Heir of Redclyffe

Although you may have never heard of it before, The Heir of Redclyffe (1853) was one of the most popular novels of the Victorian Era. It was Charlotte M. Yonge’s first novel and proved immediately successful. The Heir of Redclyffe, though perhaps a little difficult to get into in the beginning because of its somewhat obscure conversational banter, rewards perseverance with its plot surprises, original characters, and, as with a multitude of Victorian novels, profoundly intelligent narration of human experiences.

The EdmonstoneImage result for the heir of redclyffes, a devout Christian family, take under their wing a young, recently orphaned distant relative, Sir Guy Morville. Reared only by a reclusive grandfather with an unscrupulous past, Guy looks to the loving guidance of the Edmonstones, and Mrs. Edmonstone in particular, as they seek to gently direct his spiritual maturation by teaching him self-discipline, particularly of his passionate temper. Romances ensue, drawing lines of loyalty between certain family members, and when suspicious evidence concerning Guy appears and accusations arise against him, the family becomes divided about his innocence and trustworthiness.

The Heir of Redclyffe is a study in sanctification, which is the striving after Christ-likeness this side of heaven. Of course, there are two sides to Christ-likeness: aiming to follow Christ’s example (good deeds), and recognizing where we fail to do so (repentance), and we see both of these elements of Christian sanctification in the novel. The true Christian must reach a state of repentance for his or her sins. With such a theme completely dominating novel, it is not hard to see why the book has fallen out of print and has never been adapted to film, unlike many popular Victorian dramas. Additionally, in the introduction to the Wordsworth Classics edition, the editor herself states that The Heir, with its affirmation of the patriarchal family and the submissive role of women, is definitely not a feminist work. The Heir of Redclyffe probably holds little value for today’s secular reader.

Charlotte M. Yonge was an Anglican, and viewed herself as ‘a sort of instrument for popularising church views.’  She never married, wrote over a hundred works and edited a women’s church magazine for forty years.



Shorter Christian Victorian Novels


Although the Victorian era is famous (or notorious, depending on how heavy you like your books) for its thousand-page tomes such as Charles Dickens’ Dombey and Son, William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair or George Eliot’s Middlemarch, 19th century literature does include some lighter fare, still worth the sampling.


1. Agnes Grey (1847) by Anne Bronte
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 In Agnes’ lonely and friendless life appears a conscientious and principled young rector, stirring the governess’s heart to flame with hope for a future of Godly companionship.  (102 pages) Read more here and here.




2. Cricket: A Tale of Humble Life (1886) by Silas K. Hocking 

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Cricket tells a simple but heart-warming tale of two impoverished youths living in Liverpool whose trials draw them into a friendship with one another. Billy, who has been homeless from a young age and never entered a church in his life, learns first of Jesus Christ from Caroline (Cricket), and her life becomes a living testimony of the truth of the gospel in a way that the mystifying Sunday sermons in the local chapel cannot. (248 pages) Read more here.


3. Lady Susan (1871) by Jane Austen 

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Lady Susan, a flirtatious scheming widow (with a grown daughter, no less) gets “thrills” out of seducing the attentions of even married men for her own amusement. One might consider Lady Susan to be George Wickham’s female double. This time, though, we get to hear the story from the reprobate’s point of view. (94 pages) Read more here.



4. Cranford (1853) by Elizabeth Gaskell

While typical Victorian novels uphold romantic, marital love as the penultimate relationship, Cranford appreciates sisterly and neighbourly love. Christians, too, often idolize the love between husband and wife as the sublime picture of Christ and his bride (the church), forgetting the other picture of humble submission and kindness – love between brothers and sisters within the body of Christ. (192 pages) Read more here