Mistress of Mellyn Summary
Eleanor Hibbert

Everything you need to understand or teach Mistress of Mellyn by Eleanor Hibbert.

  • Mistress of Mellyn Summary & Study Guide

Mistress of Mellyn Summary

The critique of outmoded traditions in Mistress of Mellyn is given greater weight by its concern with the ways, both positive and negative, in which the past penetrates the present. Martha is charmed by the quaint Christmas customs of Cornwall, but she scoffs at the local superstitions. Her disbelief is shaken as she takes up residence in Mellyn, a fortresslike mansion on the Cornish coast, where from the outset, she feels she is being secretly observed and that the presence of the first wife, Alice, is all too palpable. Despite her admiration for old houses, she soon feels in this house the full weight of the oppressive past, with its religious persecutions, unhappy liaisons, and destructive sexual droit du seigneur. The apparent stability and continuity represented by the house disguises a disturbing underside: a dank "hidey hole," which can hide or imprison, hidden peepholes, an unused chapel, and...

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