Cordelia Author:Winston Graham Winston Graham, author of the popular "Poldark" series of novels, has written a very good novel set in Victorian England. He regales the reader with the story of a young woman, Cordelia Blake, daughter of a middle class tradesman who owns a clock shop. She marries Brook Ferguson, a widower and son of Frederick Ferguson, a prominent self-made man... more » whose iron clad will dominates all who come within his sphere.
Upon her marriage to Brook, she moves into Grove Hall, the Ferguson family home, where the household revolves around the elder Mr. Ferguson. Also living there is Frederick's brother, Pridey, an eccentric, elderly gentleman with a penchant for mice and music, and his sister, Letitia, a simple soul who does her best not to irritate Frederick. There are none at Grove Hall who would dare to gainsay Frederick, who makes it clear to Cordelia that her beloved family is not quite up to his standards.
Cordelia soon discovers that Brook is a very unhappy and sickly man, forced to live his father's dreams, rather than his. She tries her best to be the best wife possible, supportive and loving. She also tries to be a submissive and acquiescent daughter-in-law to the domineering Frederick in order to maintain the status quo. Her equanimity however, soon feels the strain of living in the oppressive Ferguson household.
When she comes into contact with the handsome and charming Stephen Crossley, who runs a music hall empire, she reluctantly falls head over heels in love with him. Though she tries to hold back, given the social and sexual mores of the time, she finds herself thrown into a maelstrom of love and desire. Cordelia comes to a crossroad that finds her deciding to change her life, when fate intervenes in a way that she never would have imagined...« less