Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Sacrifice of Enid: a Dartmoor melodrama

The Sacrifice of Enid (1909) is a romantic melodrama - one, I think, with a strong thematic hat-tip to The Hound of the Baskervilles - set around a paper mill in the fictional Dartmoor village of Willowbridge. I'm just compiling a bio-bibliography for the author, "Mrs Harcourt Roe", who lived in Ryde, Isle of Wight, in the 1890s and wrote several novels (again, more than appear at first sight). Pending that, here's a sampler of one of them.

The central plotline of The Sacrifice of Enid is that the scheming Louise Ormonde has set her sights on Ronald Westlake, son of the mill owner. Jealous of his growing friendship with a young woman called Enid (who, for her own reasons, is going incognito as "Mary Williams"), Louise contrives to frame Ronald for the crime of aiding Enid's convict lover in escaping from Dartmoor Prison.
      According to a news item in the Literary, dramatic, and musical notes section of The Author, Vol. XVIII, June 1st, 1908, Mrs Harcourt Roe sold the novel to the Northern Newspaper Syndicate, which generally handled British newspaper syndication. However, for whatever reason it seems only to have seen publication in Australia, in the Adelaide-based Observer, where it ran as a 13-issue serial in the summer of 1909.

You can read it online via the National Library of Australia's Trove archive:
The Sacrifice of Enid. (1909, July 24 - October 16). Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931). Retrieved May 23, 2015 from National Library of Australia Trove digitised newspaper database.

- Ray

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