The Marriage of Elinor
by Margaret Oliphant
First published in 1891
A great boon to those of us who love 19th century literature is the ability to download and read books long out of print and available previously only through used book dealers at prices often out of range of my budget. The Marriage of Elinor is a case in point. One of Mrs. Oliphant's finest works, this book is available at Project Gutenberg, Munsey's and Google Books.
Elinor Dennistoun is engaged to the Honorable Phil Compton or, as her second cousin John Tatham thinks of him, the dis-Honorable Phil Compton. Elinor has been told of Compton's reputation, but in her naivete she cannot see the truth, even when he persuades her to provide him with an alibi for a time when certain financial records disappeared from a business with which he was involved.
I have read somewhere around a quarter of this book and only wish I had more time to read. I think I can anticipate the plot, but the pleasure of reading this book comes not from the plot but from the character development.
For those who enjoy the books of Anthony Trollope, I recommend The Marriage of Elinor.