The House of the White Shadows

The House of the White Shadows
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Книга "The House of the White Shadows", автором которой является Benjamin Farjeon, представляет собой захватывающую работу в жанре Зарубежная классика. В этом произведении автор рассказывает увлекательную историю, которая не оставит равнодушными читателей.

Автор мастерски воссоздает атмосферу напряженности и интриги, погружая читателя в мир загадок и тайн, который скрывается за хрупкой поверхностью обыденности. С прекрасным чувством языка и виртуозностью сюжетного развития, Benjamin Farjeon позволяет читателю погрузиться в сложные эмоциональные переживания героев и проникнуться их судьбами. Farjeon настолько живо и точно передает неповторимые нюансы человеческой психологии, что каждая страница книги становится путешествием в глубины человеческой души.

"The House of the White Shadows" - это не только захватывающая история, но и искусство, проникнутое глубокими мыслями и философскими размышлениями. Это произведение призвано вызвать у читателя эмоциональные отклики, задуматься о важных жизненных вопросах и открыть новые горизонты восприятия мира.

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We regret to learn that since this book was sent to press in this country, its gifted author has passed away in London at the ripe age of 70 years. It seems appropriate and indeed necessary to preface "The House of the White Shadows," on its appearance in America, with a brief account of Mr. Farjeon's life and literary career. Considering his popularity it is astonishing how very little is generally known regarding this author's personality. The ordinary reference books, if not altogether silent respecting him, have but a line or two, giving the date of his birth with perhaps a list of two or three of his principal novels. It is sincerely to be hoped that a competent biography will ultimately appear, affording to his very many admirers some satisfactory account of a man who has given the world more than twenty-five remarkable works of fiction.

Mr. Farjeon was an Englishman, having been born in London in 1833. At an early age he went to Australia and from thence to New Zealand. It would be exceedingly interesting to learn how he employed himself in those colonies. We know that he engaged in a journalistic venture in Dunedin, but how long it continued or how he fed his intellectual life during the years which intervened, until he published his first novel in London, we know little or nothing. At all events he returned home and launched his first literary venture in London in 1870. It was called "Grif, a Story of Australian Life." This story proved to be eminently successful, and probably determined its author's future career. He produced "Joshua Marvel" in 1871; "London's Heart" in 1873; "Jessie Trim" in 1874, and a long list of powerful novels ending with "Samuel Boyd of Catchpole Square," published only two or three years ago. Some of these works, like "Blade o' Grass," "Bread and Cheese and Kisses," "Great Porter Square," etc., have been very popular both in England and the United States, passing through many editions.

Mr. Farjeon's style is remarkable for its vivid realism. The London "Athenæum" in a long and appreciative review styles him "a master of realistic fiction." On account of his sentiment and minute characterization he is regarded as a follower of the method of Dickens. No writer since that master can picture like Farjeon the touching and pathetic type of innocent childhood, pure in spite of miserable and squalid surroundings. He can paint, too, a scene of sombre horror so vividly that even Dickens himself could scarcely emulate its realism.

Mr. Farjeon visited the United States several times during his long life. Americans have always regarded him with kindly feelings. Perhaps this kindliness was somewhat increased when it became generally known that he had married a daughter of America's genial actor, Joseph Jefferson.

"The House of the White Shadows" is published in this country by arrangement with Messrs. Hutchinson & Co., of London, who have been Mr. Farjeon's publishers in Great Britain for many years.





The feverish state of excitement into which Geneva was thrown was not caused by a proclamation of war, a royal visit, a social revolution, a religious wave, or an avalanche. It was simply that a man was on his trial for murder.

There is generally in Geneva a rational if not a philosophic foundation for a social upheaving; unlike the people of most other countries, the population do not care to play a blind game of follow my leader. They prefer to think for themselves, and their leaders must be men of mark. Intellect is passionately welcomed; pretenders find their proper level.

What, then, in a simple trial for murder, had caused the excitement? Had the accused moved in a high station, was he a poet, a renowned soldier, a philanthropist, a philosopher, or a priest loved for his charities, and the purity of his life? None of these; he was Gautran, a woodman, and a vagabond of the lowest type. It would be natural, therefore, to seek for an explanation in the social standing of his victim. A princess, probably, or at least a lady of quality? On the contrary. A common flower-girl, who had not two pair of shoes to her feet.

Seldom had a trial taken place in which the interest manifested had been so absorbing. While it was proceeding, the questions which men and women asked freely of each other were:

"What news from the court-house?"

"How many days longer is it likely to last?"

"Has the monster confessed?"

"What will the verdict be?"

"Do you think it possible he can escape?"

"Why did the famous Advocate undertake the defence?"

In fashionable assemblies, and in cafés where the people drank their lager and red wine; in clubs and workshops; on steamboats and diligences; in the fields and vineyards; on high-roads and bye-roads-the trial of Gautran formed the principal topic of conversation and debate, to the almost utter exclusion of trade, and science, and politics, and of a new fashion in hats which was setting the women of adjacent countries crazy. So animated were the discussions that the girl lying in her grave might have been supposed to be closely related to half the inhabitants of Geneva, instead of having been, as she was, a comparative stranger in the town, with no claim upon any living Genevese on the score of kinship. The evidence against the prisoner was overwhelming, and it appeared as though a spirit of personal hatred had guided its preparation. With deadly patience and skill the prosecution had blocked every loophole of escape. Gautran was fast in the meshes, and it was observed that his counsel, the Advocate, in the line he adopted, elicited precisely the kind of evidence which-in the judgment of those who listened to him now for the first time-strengthened the case against the man he was defending.

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