Historical romance edition! Three historical romances - from the wilderness of pre-Revolutionary upstate New York to the fishing villages of Cornwall - love finds everyone. Especially if you're attractive and of noble birth.
Robert W. Chambers' Cardigan (1901) was, within his lifetime, his most famous work. The King in Yellow was a cult favourite, and certainly proved the most long-lasting and influential. But it was Cardigan that established Chambers as a best-seller and a popular favourite. There's some merit to Cardigan's success. If we posit (tautologically) that this was an era in which Chambers succeeded, so therefore Chambers books were successful, there's a lot about Cardigan that is, well, Chambersy. It has, amongst other things:
- A suitably jingoistic plot - set in the early days of the American Revolution, and firmly establishing American exceptionalism
- A charming, if utterly hackneyed, romance - a young boy (Cardigan) and a young woman (whom he always refers to as her childhood nickname, 'Silver Heels') are raised together as wards of an important pre-Revolutionary figure.
- A coming of age story, in which Cardigan realises that loyalty is more than an oath to a distant King, and maybe his dream of becoming an officer isn't the best thing in the world and whatnot
- A ton of very florid nature writing - including meandering treks across the wilderness, countless fishing expeditions, and a general, ubiquitous appreciation of all things related to sunsets, sunrises, the moon, water features, trees, mountains, skies and/or dirt
All of which, as noted above, are hallmarks of Chambers' writing. As mixed a bag as this is already, Cardigan also features some of Chambers' less appreciable writing quirks.