By Elizabeth Jenkins
Harriet Ogilvy is a tender lady with a small fortune and a psychological incapacity, making her definitely the right goal for the good-looking and scheming Lewis Oman. After successful Harriet's love, Lewis, with assistance from his brother and mistress, units in movement a plan of unspeakable cruelty and evil to get his arms on her cash. With consummate artistry, Elizabeth Jenkins transforms the naked evidence of this situation from the annals of Victorian England's outdated Bailey into a fully spine-chilling exploration of the depths of human depravity.
Based at the real-life 1877 case of Harriet Staunton, Harriet (1934) was once a bestseller and an incredible severe luck, beating Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of dirt to win the Prix Femina.
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Additional info for Harriet
Facedown on the beach, gripping his ankles, I tried to pull the sonofabitch off his feet. Sonofabitch wasn’t the bad word that I used previously. This was another one, and not as bad as the ﬁrst. His legs were planted wide, and he was strong. Whether my eyes were open or closed, I saw spirals of twinkling lights, and “Somewhere over the Rainbow” played in my head. This led me to believe that I had nearly been knocked unconscious and that I didn’t have my usual strength. He kept trying to hit my head again, but he also had to strive to stay upright, so he managed only to strike my shoulders three or four times.
Sounds bounced deceptively through the ranks of posts and crossbeams and ricocheted off the gently rolling water, but after half a minute, I was sure the craft was proceeding slowly shoreward from the ocean-end of the pier. I looked westward but could not see the boat for the intervening substructure. The pilot might be cruising in open water, paralleling the pier, or he could be threading through the pilings to conduct a more thorough search. Although the ﬂoodlamps were below my position and were directed downward, light bounced off the moving water.
I rolled off my back, rose into night air colder than the water. Listening to the outboard engine fade in the distance, I waded ashore through whispering surf and a scrim of sea foam. Out of the white fog, up from the white beach came a gray form, and suddenly a dazzling light bloomed three inches from my face. Before I could reel backward, the ﬂashlight swung up, one of those long-handled models. Before I was able to dodge, the ﬂashlight arced down and clubbed me, a glancing blow to the side of my head.