Reference > The Library > Helen Rex Keller > Reader’s Digest of Books

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
The Manxman
Hall Caine (1853–1931)
Manxman, The, by Hall Caine, is a present-day romance, the scene of which is the Isle of Man. It was published in 1894; and was the most successful of the author’s novels up to that time. Old Iron Christian, Deemster (or Judge) of the Isle, has two sons, Thomas and Peter. The elder, Thomas, marries below him and is disinherited. He dies, leaving a son, Philip, who is reared in the Deemster’s house. The younger, Peter, has an illegitimate son, Peter Quilliam, who loves pretty Kate Cregeen, daughter of an innkeeper. The two lads grow up together as sworn friends. Peter and Kate are sweethearts, but her father objects to him because of his birth and poverty. Pete goes off to make his fortune, leaving Kate in Philip’s charge. Philip, during his absence, wins her love and betrays her. Meanwhile tidings come of Pete’s death. Philip cares for Kate, but feels that she is in the way of his ambition to become Deemster. He tells her that they must part; and on the return of Pete, who was falsely reported dead, she marries the latter out of pique, hoping until the last that Philip will interfere and marry her himself. She has a child by her husband, but is tortured by the thought that it may be Philip’s. The shame of her loveless marriage nearly drives her crazy; and on Philip’s return from abroad she runs away on the very day that he becomes Deemster, to live with him secretly, under an assumed name. The blow well-nigh crushes Pete when he returns to the empty house. He does not suspect that she has joined Philip; whom he tells that, solicitous for her health, he has sent her to England. To guard her good name he even receives mock letters from her, written by himself. Philip represents to Pete that she is dead. The husband never learns the truth, but leaves the island forever, placing the boy in Philip’s keeping. Their guilty union so preys upon the conscience of both Philip and Kate, however, that the woman at last leaves him, and Philip offers what restitution he can. He makes a public declaration of his sin, resigns his high office, and takes in his own the hand of the woman he has loved and wronged, that they may begin life openly together. With this dramatic scene of the confession the story closes.  1

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