➾ [Download] ➾ Mistress of Mellyn By Victoria Holt ➳ – Motyourdrive.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Mistress of Mellyn

  1. says:

    The Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt is a 1960 publication Everyone knows I am a huge fan of these old Gothic suspense novels and love to collect the old paperbacks.Those covers are just fantastic Victoria Holt s name is nearly synonymous with this genre and she was quite prolific As such, I m still hunting down some of her harder to find books and haven t come close to reading all of her novels So, it s fun to pull one of these off the shelf and lose myself in a different time, despite the datedness of some of these stories They are often a representation of a simpler time, in the days when the suspense was reliant on atmosphere and dialogue, and the romance was about as chaste as it comes Holt s books may be true the era of time in which she sets her stories, the women of the day having little opportunity and often at the mercy of men, but her heroines are rarely too stupid to live , or present themselves as the proverbial damsel in distress Her writing style is still quite effective and can create a strong sense of unease, even for the most jaded modern reader However, this book is, or less, a poor man s Jane Eyre The old mansion, the governess, the gruff master of the house, the mystery surrounding his wife s death, and the relationship that begins to develop between the master and the governess All of these are classic Gothic mystery elements, but, this plot was just too familiar and Holt was quite capable of originality than this But, to be fair, the ending was a lot sinister than Jane Eyre, as there is a legitimate murder mystery and our heroine is in genuine danger which for its day was probably a little shocking It was not an unpleasant read, but it wasn t the best of Holt s repertoire 3 stars


  2. says:

    Mistress of Mellyn is one of Victoria Holt s old gothic romantic suspense novels, published in 1960 It s the quintessential governess in peril falling in love with someone above her station plot It s a pretty good, old fashioned novel of its type, one of the better Victoria Holt novels I ve read here and there over the years.Martha Marty Leigh is an impoverished gentlewoman forced to become a governess due to her circumstances She takes a job in Cornwall, a corner of England that, I was surprised to learn, actually has a subtropical climate palm trees Her duty is to teach and care for the obstinate, emotionally neglected daughter of a widowed master of the mansion, Connan TreMellyn Connan s wife Alice disappeared a year ago and died in a train crash while running away with another man so they say But Martha still feels Alice s presence around the TreMellyn mansion.To thicken the plot, we have Peter Nansellock, a handsome neighbor paying Martha some extra attention his kind sister Celestine Gillyflower, an emotionally disturbed young daughter of a dead servant and a gentleman who abandoned her Lady Treslyn, a vividly lovely, young former actress and the wife of an elderly lord, who seems to be waiting for him to die so she can marry Connan a devoted and gossipy housekeeper with a taste for whiskey in her tea and various other characters.Victoria Holt s writing style is prosaic it s never going to inspire me But she draws a good plot here The murder mystery bubbles along under the surface until surfacing with a vengeance late in the pages of this book There s just a little spookiness here is Alice really haunting the mansion maybe to flavor the plot.3.5 stars Recommended for readers who like old fashioned gothic romances.


  3. says:

    I read a lot of Holt in my teens, then they started to feel both gloom laden and like they had come off a production line, so I stopped I reread another favourite and while I didn t love it so much this time round, I rounded the book up to 4 for old times sake The Mistress of Mellyn, the first Holt I read although I had read plenty of her Jean Plaidy titles and the first one she wrote, has stood the test of time and I am happy to award 5.This books succeeds in so many areas, the Cornwall setting, the era I prefer my Gothics to be Victorian the faint air of menace and unease, an attractive hero There is also just a faint hint of sexual tension The biggest plus for me is the complex character of Martha Lewis Forced by family circumstances and her own gentility to become a governess, Martha is overly prickly, puts herself down constantly and is a nosy gossip Great A real human I think she is unnecessarily brusque with her charge, 8 year old Alvean the child is difficult sure, but her mother only died in the previous year and Alvean s life is lonely and without much stimulation Martha in her decided way, changes all that and the warming of their relationship and Martha s championing of another girl, traumatised little Gilly is lovely to read But, because I had read Bride of Pendorric like I said these novels are formulaic I could pick out the villain although not the motive and there is a major flaw in the resolution. I m reading this one with the Retro Reads Group Maybe they will see something I ve missed And view spoiler I find it hard to believe ending up with ten children of her own, plus Alvean Gilly is a happy ending Shudder I love children Small numbers of children I didn t love childbirth I m positive I would like Victorian childbirth even less hide spoiler


  4. says:

    This is one of those cases where the star rating is based on my memory of how much pleasure the book gave me when I read it as a young girl Not sure how it holds up to contemporary scrutiny Having just reread this book to see how it holds up I have this to say about it The writing style is pedestrian This is evidently Victoria Holt s first book and I will be curious to see if the style improves.However, I still like the story a lot The characters, setting, menace, use of location, plot twists are all pretty solid I loved the little girls, Alvean and Gilly I m glad I reread it and will look to reread some of her others I won t change my rating for sentimental reasons but would probably give it three stars today.


  5. says:

    For the last two years, one of my main reading goals has been to revisit series and authors that I enjoyed in years past I ve re read Trixie Belden books, revisited a couple Father Koesler mysteries and Wagons West books plus several other series I loved, enjoyed Agatha Christie, Stephen King and other favorite authors So just before this year ends, I decided it was time to pay a call on Victoria Holt aka author Eleanor Hibbert who wrote under multiple pen names including Jean Plaidy and Phillippa Carr Under Victoria Holt, Hibbert wrote many gothic romance novels I loved these books when I was in high school and college Dank old castles or mansions An evildoer in the shadows A passionate, usually forbidden or otherwise unexpected love affair, and dark danger Great fun and suspense for a teenage girl to read I decided to re read the Victoria Holt novels in order So Mistress of Mellyn is first The book was first published in 1960, and has been reprinted many, many times I don t usually read romance novels these days.so I was curious if I would still enjoy the story I did It had been so many years since I last read this book, I didn t remember the characters or the final outcome So the mystery was enjoyable.and it was mostly suspense with just a splash of romance The Basics This is a Jane Eyre type novel A penniless woman takes on the job of governess to make her way in the world What else is there for unmarried women of a certain age to do She arrives at her post, and finds a bit of gossip intrigue about the death of the master s wife a year previously Martha decides to investigate a bit and discovers the truthputting herself in danger This is the usual light, gothic romance fare The plot is entertaining and suspenseful, but not complex There are a few passionate clenches, but nothing graphic and the romance doesn t overwhelm the suspense portion of the plot I guessed at the final outcome and was partly correct partly wrong, so the ending wasn t completely transparent But it wasn t a strange surprise out of the blue either Well written Interesting plot I enjoyed it On to the second book published under the Victoria Holt name Kirkland Revels I also have a lot of Jean Plaidy books on my TBR shelves I have been collecting the Jean Plaidy historical fiction books here and there over the past 10 years or so trying to get full series so I could read them I think in 2020, I need to get those books all read, and free up several shelves of book space I think books by Eleanor Hibbert Victoria Holt Jean Plaidy and all the other pen names for this author are going to be a priority for me in 2020 Such a prolific writer.and I enjoy her story telling Plus..I can free up 3 shelves of space by reading all of her books that I own Goals I m glad I decided to revisit these books


  6. says:

    Wow I did not remember that What a great read I am still thinking about this book after finishing yesterday This was really good I know I read it as a teen My mom had all those Victoria Holt s from the Doubleday Book Club I remember this title quite well And I read all of her books when she finished I just don t remember any of this story Great characters and setting Oh so gothic I really enjoyed it quite a lot So atmospheric I didn t like Marty at all until about halfway thru She was annoying at times Her whole don t look down on me bc I am just a governess attitude was tiring But, I might would have felt acted the same way back in the day Midway thruthe danceawwww, I could picture it I wish this had been made into a movie It would make a really great one Wonderful ending Big smile on my face I love the way the conflict was resolved on this one I sat outside on a Sunday afternoon in the sun and read most of this one Pure escapism Very good romance suspense novel I highly recommend it for those that enjoy those good old gothics and the setting of Cornwall And great old houses with a stubborn child, a governess, a very desirable employer and father of the stubborn child, coastline, murder, mayhem It s all right here Enjoy


  7. says:

    I wasn t at all sure that Victoria Holt was my sort of author, but I had to give a gothic romance set in Cornwall the benefit of the doubt And when I read the opening words I was so glad that I did There are two courses open to a gentlewoman when she finds herself in penurious circumstances, my Aunt Adelaide had said One is to marry, and the other is to find a post in keeping with her gentility As the train carried me through the wooded hills and past green meadows, I was taken this second course partly, I suppose, because I had never had an opportunity of trying the former. Martha Leigh known to her family and friends as Marty was travelling on the same journey that I have made many times in real life and a few times in print too She was travelling through Somerset, through Devon, and across Mr Brunel s bridge into the Duchy of Cornwall I liked her She was sensible, she was bright, she was curious and she was understanding in just the right proportions And she was to be a governess, to the young daughter of a wealthy widower I thought that the position might suit her rather well, and indeed it did She quickly wins over the household staff, but it takes her a little longer to win the confidence of her young charge Alvaen And no wonder, when she has lost her beloved mother, when her father, Connan Tremellyn, was cold and remote, and when a number of governesses had come and gone Marty could understand Alvaen She could build a relationship with her She could lay plans to help her win the approval of her father that she so desperately craved But she couldn t understand Alvaen s parents How could Alice, who it was clear had been happy and loved, leave her daughter and her husband and run away with an old lover Maybe she hadn t How could Connan neglect his daughter so How could he take up with the younger wife of an elderly neighbour Maybe he had a plan There are echoes of Daphne DuMaurier and Charlotte Bronte here a grand mansion on a Cornish cliff, haunted by its former mistress a plain young woman set against a dark and brooding hero hints family of family secrets Fortunately Victoria Holt had the ability to take those familiar ingredients and create something a little different A well executed work of gothic suspense, where as soon as one question is answered another one appears, as soon as one crisis is averted another has to be faced, until one final drama resolves everything She brought that that house on the cliff, and the surrounding countryside to life with wonderful descriptive flourishes I could see Marty and Alvaen in the schoolroom, I could see then watching a grand ball from above, I could see them on horseback out in the grounds And I could understand them The governess who was happy in her role, but who struggled with her position in between the family and the household staff The unhappy child who blossomed when she was shown real care And all of the others every character rang true There were some lovely touches, in the dialogue, in the descriptions, in well chosen details, and everything was held together by good old fashioned storytelling I can see similarities between Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart they were near contemporaries but Victoria Holt s settings are earlier and she seems rather gothic from the start though, I thought that her heroine could have fitted into a Mary Stewart novel quite beautifully Sadly there were some weak spots When the romance came to the fore it didn t seem as natural as it had when it was mixed was the suspense The ending seemed a little rushed, and I would have prefered a fuller conclusion in the final chapter to the epilogue that was offered instead None of that stopped me from loving Mistress of Mellyn, but it did remind me that the books that inspired it were far finer So I d like to read them again before long, and I ll give any of Victoria Holt s other novels that cross my path a fair chance too.


  8. says:

    I grew up buying gothic mysteries by the bagful They are suspenseful and sometimes eerie What I tire of is helplessness a maiden dependent on residency in an unwelcome place What a refreshing change, to discover Victoria Holt s 1960, Mistress Of Mellyn , broke that mould I am surprised there were readers who didn t notice that I give five stars for delight and originality, in the genre I know well, which seldom deviates Most appear to have missed that Martha Leigh has a good life with her sister and aunt and CHOSE to seek employment.She is no inferior She is comfortable and likes the housekeeper, Grandmother of an orphaned girl As Martha s employers befriend her, they have to urge her to join them for suppers and soirees She contacts her family any time she likes This differs greatly from most gothic mysteries I have ever read It takes so long to fall for her employer, with other reasonable options along the way, that its eventual realization is believable This novel has no silly instant romance and no depressed, trapped servant Lack of heaviness is a unique trait that made for five star appreciation Connan is not really arrogant and his daughter, Martha s first student, is not resistant for long.All of a sudden, the mystery ramped up I couldn t wait to solve the truth about Connan s former wife There are no ghosts but answering secrets is very satisfying I wonder if some readers cast judgement, thinking it was Victoria s d but Victoria was her last pseudonym Mistress Of Mellyn IS NOT COOKIE CUT, NOR FORMULAIC By the time the atmosphere grew tense, the enthralling puzzle came to the forefront I loved it I held off on her books for years, worried they were romantic suspense Au contraire she penned my kind of mystery


  9. says:

    This is my second Holt and I am still thrilled with her I think she will prove to be one of those authors I can pick up anytime and be assured of a good read I see many similarities with her construction and characters compared to The Shivering Sands but that does not detract for me I still love the way she slowly weaves the mystery, reveals the characters bit by bit and gradually builds the gentle romance Just as in TSS, I found all the characters to be intriguing and developed I love the banter of conversation amongst them humorous, revealing, flirtatious, mysterious, heartfelt I find her writing style in general very easy to read and flowing but not insulting to one s intelligence Again, I was unsure of the culprit until close to the end I might consider Holt a Du Maurier lite which suits me.


  10. says:

    3.5 for Retro Reads There are two courses open to a gentlewoman when she finds herself in penurious circumstances, my Aunt Adelaide had said One is to marry, and the other to find a post in keeping with her gentility I d never heard of Victoria Holt but this gothic romantic story was full of suspense The plot follows the well known plight of the governess, having to find a position to survive, finding such role only to realise that all is not as it seems Martha Leigh, vicar daughter with no prospect of marriage, accepts a post to take care of 8 year old Alvean, who has lost her mother in tragic circumstances Upon arrival, our heroine is faced with a resentful and defiant child, gossipy staff, well meaning neighbours, an orphaned girl left to haunt the place, and an absent master That is until he arrives on the sceneLet s not forget the setting We have the huge old house, bursting with nooks and crannies, a potential ghost, and also the beautiful and atmospheric Cornish landscape.It was inevitable that this book would remind me of Jane Eyre It is however quite different I enjoyed the thriller aspects, from the growing feeling of uneasiness and doubt, to the big reveal at the end, as well as the growing relationship between Martha and the two children, Alvean and Gilly However I found the romance to be the weakest link, not being able to accept either of the male suitors Holt does shape them from typical 19th century patriarchal moulds but neither was hero material for me I wonder if this is due to the author s writing style or the characters themselves I had no such qualms when I read Bronte s masterpiece Nevertheless, Mistress of Mellyn was a fun read.


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