I finished slightly early today as I discovered two of the books I had requested were available online. As it was warm (yay!), I walked around for a bit and then snuck into McDonald's so I could have a Diet Coke with ice. Lots and lots of ice. I...I miss sodas with ice. (Almost as much as I miss showers with actual water pressure.)
Incidentally, the British Library is no longer serving Diet Coke. (Or any other brand of diet cola.) An outrage! An outrage, I say!
- Mary Maher, Fidelity: A Catholic Story, with Glints from Real Life (Burns and Oates, 1898). Shockingly, this is a Catholic novel. Agnes and Gertrude, both members of the sodality of the Children of Mary, must leave the convent where they've been educated to face the outside world. Agnes, an American, returns to the states and discovers a vocation; Gertrude, an Irishwoman, must deal with her obnoxious Catholic aunt (ironically, her Protestant uncle is actually the moral one), and hold tight to her vow that she will not enter a mixed marriage. In the end, mixture is avoided because her beloved converts, and everyone lives happily ever after (except for her aunt). The author provides a short list of recommended Catholic reading for girls that manages to get half the titles wrong. BODY COUNT: Two.
- Mrs. Will C. Hawkley, Out of Darkness ("Church Monthly" Office, n.d.). Anglican novel. The main plot involves skulduggery: the Clives, an eeevil brother-and-sister team with foreign accents (yikes!), con the idiotic Mrs. Brooke out of thousands of pounds, despite the best efforts of Guy Ryder (the upright curate) and her stepchildren. To make matters worse, Caryl Clive wants to marry the beautiful Stella. Poor Guy, being something of an idiot, gets trapped into passing off a forged check. However, everything is wrapped up on the final pages as the brother-and-sister are revealed to be man-and-wife (oh noes!), and Mrs. Brooke recovers from paralysis just in time to get Guy off. In a subplot, a woman prepares working-class men for baptism. Several people get married (not while being baptized). BODY COUNT: Zero.
- E. M. Browne, May Cameron; Or Charity True and False ("North Wales Chronicle" Office, 1887). The arrogant Mrs. Blenerharris, who practices false charity, abuses her adopted children and her companion, Ethel Howard; the angelic May Cameron, by contrast, practices true charity. However, after her actions temporarily drive Ethel insane, leading to her near-death, Mrs. Blenerharris suffers a fit and dies penitent. Other people get married. BODY COUNT: One.
- E. M. B., Dolly and Syb (Charles H. Kelly, n.d.). Methodist children's novel (only really identifiable as such because of references to the minister's "circuit"). Little Dolly and Syb are BFFs. However, one day another girl puts one of Dolly's frogs in the teacher's desk, and Syb saves Dolly from disgrace only by revealing that it was really naughty Jenny who did it. After much sulking, the girls learn the moral of the story, which is that it's right to forgive, and they all have a good Christmas. BODY COUNT: Zero.