Published in 1838, “Alice, or The Mysteries” picks up the story of the disenchanted poet-gone-politician-gone-recluse Ernest Maltravers, his early love Alice Darvil and his underhanded antagonist Lumley Ferrers. Whereas, after Florence Lascelles’s death, Ernest has withdrawn from the world, everything seems to go well with Lumley, who has inherited the title of Lord Vargrave and started a political career. There is only the want of a fortune with which to further his social ambitions that keeps Lumley busy, and he is quite sure to lay hands on his late uncle’s vast inheritance by marrying the latter’s ward Evelyn, a marriage that has been wished for, but not commanded by his dying relative. However, Fate, at its most wilful, again throws Ernest into Lumley’s way for when Maltravers meets the gentle and charming heiress and falls in love with her, the girl’s reservations against her long-time fiancé Lumley begin to grow, and the cynical politician again begins to plot against his former friend. (Goodreads)
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