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The Children of the Abbey
by Regina Maria Roche

The Children of the Abbey ranks alongside Alonzo and Melissa as one of the all-time great cheesy novels. First published in 1796, it was reprinted over and over throughout most of the 19th century.

Where Alonzo and Melissa never got over its fascination with Connec­ticut—even while the action ranged from South Carolina to France and England—Children of the Abbey is in love with the British Isles. Wales, Ireland, Scotland: if it’s on the map, our heroine will end up there. And if the author can’t find a way to transport her in person, we’ll get a character speaking in dense dialect instead.

Lord Mortimer Kneeling to Amanda

Contents

The chapters don’t have titles, so I’ve given the first line instead. Good luck!

Cheat Sheet: Names in A—a

If you have trouble remembering who’s who, there’s a good reason. All told, I found seven female characters whose names fit the A—a pattern:

Amanda the heroine: Oscar’s sister, Malvina’s daughter
Adela Oscar’s love interest
Augusta Malvina’s younger half-sister, later Marchioness of Rosline
Annabella the second Lady Dunreath: mother of Augusta, stepmother of Malvina (gives her full name at the end of chapter XLVII)
Araminta Lady Araminta Dormer, Lord Mortimer’s sister, niece of Lady Martha Dormer
Alicia one of the Kilcorbans
Agatha Sister Agatha (organist, mentioned in chapter XVIII)

Texts Used

This ebook is based on the single-volume 1877 Philadelphia edition. Apparent errors were corrected from two early editions: 1800 (fourth edn., vols. II-IV of four, long s) and 1816 (eighth edn., vols. I-II of four).

Chapter numbering in Volume III of the 1800 (fourth) edition is I, II, III, IV, VI, V, VI, VII...

1800 (4th) 1816 (8th) 1876
[Vol. I] Vol. I I-XVII I-XVII
Vol. II I-XIV Vol. II I-XIV XVIII-XXXI
XV [Vols. III, IV] XXXII
Vol. III I-IV XXXIII-XXXVI
VI XXXVII
V-XIV XXXVIII-XLVII
Vol. IV I-XI XLVIII-LVIII

Language and Typography

Quotation marks were left as printed except when there was an obvious mismatch. Where the ends of two nested quotations coincide, only one set of quotation marks (single or double) was printed.

Unexpected spellings were changed if the 1800 or 1816 edition had the expected form.

There are many differences in wording between the earlier and later editions. In general, differences were left as printed unless there was a clear error. French words such as ton, sang froid (two words), vingt-un, éclat were printed without italics in the 1877 edition.

Any “dialect” spellings (chiefly Welsh and Irish) were left as printed.

Some early spellings were replaced with their “modern” forms in later editions. Forms such as double quotation marks and verbs in -ize may be either conservative or American.

In the 1877 edition, the place name “St. Catherine’s” is usually spelled “St. Catharine’s”. “Enniskillen” is always “Enniskellen”.

The word “dismission” occurs several times; “good humoured” is always written as two words

Older spellings:

Variable spellings: