The Black Moth
Unforgotten Classics, October 2013
I definitely enjoyed The Black Moth. I enjoyed the characters, the dialogue, the plot, the richness of the details.
The Black Moth is the story of two brothers. John Carstares (sometimes called Jack Carstares or Anthony Ferndale, also Earl of Wyndam) took the blame when his younger brother, Richard, cheated at cards. The older brother left the country in disgrace, while the younger brother took his place in the family and in society. He married and had a son.
But is Richard happy knowing that his “happy” life is founded on a lie? Is he happy with his oh-so-beautiful wife, Lady Lavinia? He certainly doesn’t like her family depending on him all the time to save them from debt and disgrace. (Why does her family like to spend so much money, to gamble?! Why is the whole family so me-me-me?)
John, meanwhile, has returned to England and become a highwayman. He is extremely particular about who he robs, mind you. And though he might appear a villain, anyone who spends more than a few minutes in his company will think him a good gentleman. His true identity is uncovered by one of his closest friends from the past, Sir Miles O’Hara. I love Miles and his wife, Molly.
Carstares is given plenty of time to appear heroic in the novel. For he saves a young woman from true harm, from being kidnapped, and he’s wounded in the process. And as he’s recuperating in her family’s home, the two fall in love. But that love isn’t without complications, of course, for his true name would bring disgrace and perhaps ruin her reputation. Unless his name was cleared first . . . but he couldn’t ask his brother after all these years. . . .
I enjoyed reading about both brothers. Poor Richard has quite a wife! One can’t help enjoying reading about Lady Lavinia. She’s so dramatic and selfish and silly. Her scenes with her two brothers and her scenes with Harry Lovelace offer something certainly. And one of Lavinia’s brothers is certainly a character. His real name, I suppose, is Tracy. But he, like our hero, likes to have plenty of names to match any and every situation. He is John’s rival for the affections of Diana.
This story has drama, romance, and some action.
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