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The Datchet Diamonds Paperback – 25 May 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Valancourt Books (25 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934555010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934555019
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,934,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book from 1898 by Richard Marsh. The story begins with Miss Daisy Strong who has met a rather fascinating young man named Mr Lawrence whilst in Brighton. "He was holding her hand in his, and looking at her with something in his eyes which there and then she told herself would never do." (p. 4) Unfortunately ( and it is unfortunate in my opinion), she is already engaged to Mr. Cyril Paxton, a feckless speculator on the stock market. Mr Paxton is always claiming to be on the next big thing (think an upper class twit version of Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses) and has consequently lost his fortune. Daisy gives him an ultimatum - make your fortune back or we can't be married - and, of course, Mr Paxton goes and loses it all in a final disastrous speculation.

Mr Paxton, a ruined man, decides to emigrate, but whilst on the train to Southampton to get the ship, he overhears Mr Lawrence discussing how he stole 1/4 a million pounds worth of diamonds. Mr Paxton then, more by ineptitude than actually meaning to, manages to acquire the diamonds and then - being short of a bob or two himself - fails to give them back to their rightful owner. The story that follows are Mr Paxton's (and Mr Lawrence's) adventures as a consequence of this.

Mr Lawrence is fantastic and everything a slightly villainous hero should be- he is charming, handsome and an utter gentleman. ( If I was Daisy I know who I would have been engaged to and it wouldn't be Cyril). One cannot help but notice the sympathy with which Marsh treats the thief - which I suppose isn't all that surprising - if one believes the biographical information out there on Marsh, he was known to be a bit dodgy himself.

There are some wonderful class issues raised in the book.
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