The major part of this engaging time-slip/ghost story (choose according to your own preferences) is set in the 1770s and tells of Juliana Clare, the youngest daughter of a landed English family and her initially routine life on the family estate, Chidleigh. When Juliana’s father dies and her dissolute brother Lucian inherits the title and returns to Chidleigh Juliana’s life becomes much more interesting, especially as Lucian has an interest in the supernatural. Juliana’s tale is bookended by the story of Jan Challard a modern independent young woman of the 1920s who, holidaying near Chidleigh, begins to glimpse the past.
Although originally published in 1924, Margaret Irwin’s prose is light and modern and she manages to conjure perfectly 18th century aristocratic life. The storytelling is deceptively simple and its full depth did not strike me until after I had finished it.
This book is now only in print via POD and as an ebook. Unfortunately it has not been edited following the digitization process so there are a number of annoying errors such as the rendering of Duc as Due all the way through the book. Still, it is wonderful to have modern access to otherwise out of print books.
A detailed review can be found here.