A Simple Story (Penguin Classics)

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9780140434736: A Simple Story (Penguin Classics)

A Simple Story by the actress, playwright and novelist Elizabeth Inchbald has remained enduringly popular and almost continuously in print since its first publication in 1791.

In scenes charged with understated erotic tension it tells the stories of the flirtatious Miss Milner who falls in love with her guardian, a Roman Catholic priest and aristocrat, and of their daughter Matilda who, banished from her father's sight, craves his love.

In her use of dramatic methods—expressive gestures, delayed revelations and economical dialogues—to present these two versions of the same power-struggle between an older father-lover figure and a young girl, Inchbald achieves a psychological intensity and subtlety of characterization rarely found in other late eighteenth-century novelists.

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From the Back Cover:

After its publication in early 1791, A Simple Story was widely read in England and abroad, going into a second edition in March of the same year. The novel’s young heroine, Miss Milner, scandalously declares herself in love with her guardian, Dorriforth, a Catholic priest. Dorriforth returns her love and is released from his vows. Though the pair go on to marry, the second half of the novel reveals the disastrous and far-reaching consequences of Miss Milner’s subsequent adulterous affair.

The critical introduction to this Broadview edition considers such issues as Catholicism, theatricality, the theatre, and the masquerade, while the appendices provide a wide selection of cultural, biographical, and literary contexts for the novel.

About the Author:

Pamela Clemit is Professor of English Studies at Durham University.

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