Gentian Hill Paperback – 10 Dec 1992
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About the Author
Elizabeth de Beauchamp Goudge was born on April 24th 1900 in Wells, Somerset, where her father was Principal of Wells Theological College. Although she had privately intended writing as a career, her parents insisted she taught handicrafts in Oxford. She began writing in her spare time and her first novel ISLAND MAGIC, set in Guernsey, was a great success here and in America. GREEN DOLPHIN COUNTRY (1944) projected her to fame, netting a Literary Guild Award and a special prize of £30,000 from Louis B. Mayer of MGM before being filmed.
In her later years Elizabeth Goudge settled in Henley-on-Thames. She died on April 1st, 1984.
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Top Customer Reviews
In a Note at the start of "Gentian Hill", Elizabeth Goudge explains that this novel is a retelling of the legend of St Michael's Chapel at Torquay, on the south-west coast of England. The chapel was a place of pilgrimage for any Roman Catholic sailors whose boats anchored in Torbay. She briefly names a village, and a nearby hill which are used, with fictional names, as key locations in the novel. From shreds of place, history, and legend, Goudge creates a vast tapestry of character, events, and epic, romantic themes.
A young Catholic English aristocrat, Anthony, orphaned by the guillotines of the French Revolution, raised too delicately by a doting grandmother, sent to be a midshipman in the Royal Navy, deserts his ship, and takes on a new identity, Zachary, near Gentian Hill.
A younger girl, Stella, orphaned by a ship-board explosion at Plymouth, and raised by a country farming couple, wears a locket, with a handwritten Shakespearean quote.
Boy meets girl. Things are not what they seem. There are dark forces haunting them, and mid-way through the story, the boy is revealed to be a deserter. He returns to the Navy, and eventually fights at the Battle of Trafalgar. Stella has a second-sense, and in a vision is present with Anthony-Zachary during the battle.
Much else happens. There is a local kind-hearted doctor, a parish Anglican priest, a Catholic Abbe, with a dark sorrow of his own.
All of these rich threads weave steadily together: the teenage love matures into adult marriage, and the revelations of lost identities and connections. As is so often the case with Goudge's novels, the astute reader can guess what will happen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Old and musty but as expected and a wonderful read with extra character!Published 14 months ago by mrs m j wills
I read this book when I was at school and loved it. Reading it again it is just as amazing now as it was then. Read morePublished 18 months ago by sharmain washbourne