I finished the sequel to Ishmael by E. D. E. N. Southworth. This was quite different from Ishmael, more along the lines of a suspense adventure like The Hidden Hand. I realized what was missing in Ishmael as I read Self-Raised. While Ishmael was a great book with a great hero, there was no great villain. In the opening chapters of Self-Raised, I quickly realized who the villain was and remained in suspense wondering how he would be dealt with. That got me thinking about The Hidden Hand. That’s one of the reasons it was such a great book; it had two great villains: Black Donald and Gabriel Le Noir.
Although filled with different plot twists, Self-Raised was still a great example of what a Christian author can do with a Christian hero. Ishmael Worth remained an inspiration throughout the book. Katie was hilarious, causing me to laugh out loud at times. Although unfavorable toward the beginning of the book, Lady Vincent won sympathy from me as I saw the end of her poor choices. And Lady Hurstmonceux was an excellent heroine. Scripture references and inferences remained prevalent in almost every chapter.
It amazed me that Southworth had such a knowledge of intricate details of England, Scotland, and a peripheral knowledge at least of Italy, France, and Cuba. Then I remembered part of her biography where she spent much time overseas after achieving success in her career as a writer. She knew the sites in England because she was there. Her vocabulary continued to stretch me. Take this statement – "Though more depends upon your perspicacity than his perspicuity." It’s a hilarious statement once you understand what is being said. I’m thinking of using that the next time I’m having a misunderstanding with someone. "Our misunderstanding here is due more to your perspicacity than my perspicuity."
The characters that Southworth spends two novels developing could have very easily been used to interact with each other in several more novels. I was sad at the end of the book to realize that the trials, perseverance, and adventures of Ishmael Worth had come to an end. Although it was a little bit pricy, now I’m glad I purchased both books at the same time. The end of Ishmael really leaves you hanging as to the fate of the characters. Both books are available at Lamplighter.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman