Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Sealed Letter

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue
Historical Fiction

Emily Faithful(Fido) is an independent British woman in 1864 who owns a printing press. She is one of the main founders of the British Woman's movement. She may be a force to reckon with in business but when it comes to personal relationships she is just too trusting. When a chance encounter brings her back into contact with her old friend Helen Codrington, she believes all she is told. In order for Helen to explain to her male escort how she can no longer continue to see him, she requires to meet him at Fido's place. Fido wishes to do all she can do to help her friend in an unhappy marriage. What follows is a tryst by the two lovers. Fido seems to fall into this trap more than once.
Emily is pulled into the middle of the divorce of the Codringtons. A sensational trial ensues. There are accusations of adultery, Emily's compliance and help in the affair and stained clothing. Even though Emily can not remember the night in question did Admiral Codrington rape her?. A sudden appearance of a sealed letter in the trial insinuates even further debauchery. Emily does not want to testify. Is her friendship with Helen worth the potential loss of her reputation?

This story is based on the true story of the Codrington divorce. Donoghue has a great talent for taking an event in history and making it a fantastic story. Donoguhe loves the "naughtiness" amid Victorian England. She has written another riveting book.

First Line: "The last day of August, and the sky is the colour of hot ash."

Learn more at Chapters/Indigo



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