The period of the tale is the reign of Queen Anne, and it is written in the language of the period-an audacious undertaking when one remembers that such a style must invite comparison with that of " Henry Esmond." Mrs. Burnett has written the story of a girl whose mother died in giving her birth, and who has grown to young womanhood under no softer influence than that of her father, who is a swaggering, sporting, hard-drinking squire of those easy-going days. So slight is his interest in domestic affairs that he doesn't know his own daughter-as she plays about the hall, at six years of age, with the young children of the servants-until she is pointed out to him. The child's ingrained audacity strikes her father's fancy, and he declares she shall be reared as a boy, and allowed to do as she likes. Thenceforward she dresses in boy's clothes, and has for companions only such rough friends as her father gathers about him ...
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