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Freda's Folly

Freda's Folly

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Freda's Folly

Comprimento:
256 página
2 horas
Lançado em:
Mar 11, 2018
ISBN:
9781912529025
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

Freda Beresford is an aspiring young writer whose work is constantly rejected. Her young brother wants to go to university, but money is scarce. One day Freda receives a letter from a distant aunt, congratulating her on getting a story published in a leading literary journal. Enclosed is a large cheque and a promise to help Freda to a literary career. The money would mean that her brother can go to university, and Freda begins to feel famous at last. Unfortunately, Freda did not write the story, but she accepts the cheque and the deception starts. What begins as a light hearted novella, from one of White Tree Publishing's favourite authors of fiction, gets darker as Freda's deception has far reaching consequences. Readers will share Freda's unease as her initial deception leads her deeper and deeper towards the inevitable disgrace.

Lançado em:
Mar 11, 2018
ISBN:
9781912529025
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor


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Amostra do Livro

Freda's Folly - Margaret S. Haycraft

About the Book

Freda Beresford is an aspiring young writer whose work is constantly rejected. Her young brother wants to go to university, but money is scarce. One day Freda receives a letter from a distant aunt, congratulating her on getting a story published in a leading literary journal. Enclosed is a large cheque and a promise to help Freda to a literary career. The money would mean that her brother can go to university, and Freda begins to feel famous at last. Unfortunately, Freda did not write the story, but she accepts the cheque and the deception starts. What begins as a light hearted novella, from one of White Tree Publishing's favourite authors of fiction, gets darker as Freda's deception has far reaching consequences. Readers will share Freda's unease as her initial deception leads her deeper and deeper towards the inevitable disgrace.

Freda's Folly

Margaret S. Haycraft

1855-1936

White Tree Publishing

Abridged Edition

Original book first published 1890

This abridged edition ©Chris Wright 2018

eBook ISBN: 978-1-912529-02-5

Published by

White Tree Publishing

Bristol

UNITED KINGDOM

wtpbristol@gmail.com

Full list of books and updates on

www.whitetreepublishing.com

Freda's Folly is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner of this abridged edition.

Table of Contents

Cover

About the Book

Author Biography

Note

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

More Books from White Tree Publishing

About White Tree Publishing

Christian non-fiction

Christian Fiction

Books for Younger Readers

Author Biography

Margaret Scott Haycraft was born Margaret Scott MacRitchie at Newport Pagnell, England in 1855. She married William Parnell Haycraft in 1883 and wrote mostly under her married name. In 1891 she was living in Brighton, on the south coast of England, and died in Bournemouth, also on the south coast, in 1936. She also wrote under her maiden name of Margaret MacRitchie. Margaret Haycraft is currently our most popular author of fiction.

Margaret was a contemporary of the much better-known Christian writer Mrs. O. F. Walton. Both ladies wrote Christian stories for children that were very much for the time in which they lived, with little children often preparing for an early death. Mrs. Walton wrote three romances for adults (with no suffering children, and now published by White Tree in abridged versions). Margaret Haycraft concentrated mainly on books for children. However, she later wrote several romances for older readers. Unusually for Victorian writers, the majority of Margaret Haycraft's stories are told in the present tense.

Both Mrs. Walton's and Margaret Haycraft's books for all ages can be over-sentimental, referring throughout, for example, to a mother as the dear, sweet mother, and a child as the darling little child. In our abridged editions overindulgent descriptions of people have been shortened to make a more robust story, but the characters and storyline are always unchanged. Eliza Kerr is another Victorian writer whose stories deserve to be republished, and White Tree Publishing is releasing several of her books in abridged form.

A problem of Victorian writers is the tendency to insert intrusive comments concerning what is going to happen later in the story. Today we call them spoilers. They are usually along the lines of: Little did he/she know that.... I have removed these when appropriate.

£100 in 1890 may not sound much, but in income value it is worth £12,000 pounds today (about US$15,000). I mention this in case the sums of money in this book sound insignificant!

Chris Wright

Editor

NOTE

There are only 8 chapters in this short book. In the last half are advertisements for our other books, so the story may end earlier than expected! The last chapter is marked as such. We aim to make our eBooks free or for a nominal cost, and cannot invest in other forms of advertising. However, word of mouth by satisfied readers will also help get our books more widely known. When the story ends, please take a look at what we publish: Christian non-fiction, Christian fiction, and books for younger readers.

Chapter 1

To Be, Or Not To Be?

"I cannot wait, I must know, cried Freda Beresford, pulling up her blind after an agitated night full of algebraic problems, literary laurels, and the architectural beauties of the church that in coming years would belong to her schoolboy brother. What dreams I have had! But this morning will settle the matter one way or another. I shall know today if our hopes and our mother's hopes have been vain -- it is sure to be in the paper. By breakfast time poor Leo will know if he is to enter upon a college career or -- turn into a saddler. How dreadful! I do believe a week at Dutton Brothers would kill the boy -- the idea of throwing his genius away upon a cooped-up hole like that!"

Freda pulled on her clothes with trembling, impetuous fingers, and nearly threw Aunt Tim to the bottom of the stairs as she burst out of her room. It was not Freda's wont to rise at 6:30. Aunt Tim prepared the lower room, and got breakfast as a rule, for Freda was a brain-worker, and she quite agreed with the old lady that such labours with the intellect were exhaustive, and needed plenty of cosy repose in bed.

Aunt Tim had a little rheumatism, however, and she was glad to see her niece springing downstairs like an embodiment of energy.

"I'm afraid you will tire yourself, lassie, before the children come; but if you could just get the fire going, and take a duster round the schoolroom----"

"Oh, yes, auntie, directly I come back; but I must get the Brightwood Chronicle this morning. Don't you remember this is the 25th? In the paper today there will be the High School examination lists, and we shall know whether Leo has won the university scholarship."

Freda, I would not raise my hopes too high if I were you. I doubt if the dear boy has been successful this time. Would not Dr. Campbell have let us know if good news like that were waiting for us?

Dr. Campbell is away, said Freda. "I don't see why the masters should tell us. It was always understood that the lists would be in the paper. Oh, auntie, don't say Leo is not first! The scholarship is his only hope of going to college and getting to be famous and useful, and everything Mother wanted him to become. It is simply throwing him away to make a saddler of him."

Still, lassie, it was good of our neighbour, Mr. Dutton, to offer him a clerkship on leaving school, and your dear mother would have said her boy could be good and useful even in a saddler's office.

Oh, yes, said Freda, tugging at her boots impatiently, "but he must be a clergyman. If it is good news, Aunt Tim, I'll wave my umbrella from the corner. You be looking out in about twenty minutes;" and, oblivious of fires and dusters, she disappeared down the garden.

Old Mrs. Timson had been for some years a widow, living on a small annuity and the proceeds of such fruit and vegetables as she could grow in the little garden, which, together with Myrtle Cottage, was her own. The cottage and mistress seemed alike in their spick-and-span neatness, and all the year round there was on their faces the glow of a lingering light. Freda and Leo Beresford loved the old-fashioned flowers, the quaint nooks, shrubberies and arbours round Myrtle Cottage, but they loved the white-haired mistress better. Scanty as was her store, she had always a kindly word, a bit of cake, a lozenge for their lips.

People wondered that after living in quiet so long, she had opened her home to the children of her niece, Mrs. Beresford, who had lately died. This lady had been well provided for by her husband's will, but she invested her fortune imprudently, and Leo and Freda were absolutely shelterless when their affairs were settled. Aunt Tim remembered them as pretty, pampered children in laces and velvet; they came to her as well-grown specimens of healthy youth, aged respectively sixteen and fifteen, inconsolable at first for their mother's loss, and all in all to each other.

Schoolboys are worse than wild beasts, said friends to Aunt Tim. "Your tidy rooms will be spoilt; the marks of Leo's boots will be everywhere. Boys never will wipe their boots on the mat."

All this, and Freda's impetuous ways, which were trying now and then to the peaceful old lady, Mrs. Timson had patiently borne for two years. She had grown fond of the children, and their love and respect for her were warmer than could have been guessed sometimes from their daily lives.

Aunt Tim is A1, they declared, setting appreciative teeth into her gingerbread and potato-cake; but Freda calmly permitted her aunt to get the meals, and Leo felt himself quite a hero when he assisted with a scuttle-full of coals occasionally. It was not enjoyment that filled their thoughts, but sheer hard work. Leo had conscientiously toiled for the University Scholarship, which would take him to college and start him on the clerical career that was his heart's desire, and Freda kept herself in gloves and boots by a little Kindergarten that gathered every morning in a room at Myrtle Cottage that Aunt Tim had given up for the purpose.

Freda was an author -- an embryo one as yet, save in her dreams. Packets of MSS. were continually issuing from that little cottage schoolroom, and, unfortunately, as often returning to the Myrtle Cottage letterbox, Declined with thanks. Still Aunt Tim and Leo thought a great deal of Freda's compositions, and faith goes a long way. Our authoress, too, never failed to comfort herself with the reflection that there are always obstacles for genius to overleap, and that Charlotte Bronte had many a disappointment before she shone on the literary horizon. The Artist's Bride, or At the Cannon's Mouth, would sooner or later make the name of Freda Beresford world-renowned. While Leo was preaching in a stately church with classic columns, to crowded congregations, she would sit in a prominent pew, the observed of all observers, as the "Miss Beresford who writes in all the leading magazines."

At present, however, Freda was lingering on the brink of the crossing that led to the newspaper shop in Brightwood. Myrtle Cottage stood a little way out of the town, but her quick steps had done the distance in about ten minutes. She was endeavouring to screw her courage to the point of demanding a copy of the Chronicle, when a hand was laid on her arm, and she turned round to see her brother's handsome, excited face.

He looked so full of life and power as the morning breezes stirred his fair hair. The flush of exercise was on his face, and a glow of pride filled Freda's heart as she gazed on the boy. It would be a sin, she thought, to condemn one so good-looking and so clever to the establishment of -- a saddler.

"Freda, I can't go in and buy one. The old chap behind the counter knows as well as I do that I've been counting on the scholarship. I couldn't stand people's looks if I have to give up the idea of college. I've been making all sorts of plans through the term with fellows who are going there. I do think one of the masters might have let me know before this."

"They wanted you to have the joyful surprise of seeing your name at the head of the list in the Chronicle" said Freda. "Leo, you are sure to be

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