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.
Green Pastures and Piccadilly
William Black (1841–1898)
Green Pastures and Piccadilly, by William Black (1877). The story begins in England, and ends in America, the time being about the year 1875. Hugh Balfour, M. P., a young reformer, busies himself with politics to the neglect of his London business and his newly wedded wife (whom he really loves); until the latter, thinking their marriage has been a mistake, asks for a separation. “Your life is in your work,” Sylvia says: “I am only an encumbrance to you.” He is stunned at first by her unexpected demand, but finally proposes that the separation be only experimental and temporary. Accordingly she goes away to America for a tour with a party among which are the Van Rosens, friends of the Balfours, who have inherited a large property in Colorado. While traveling in the United States, Sylvia hears through the newspapers that her husband’s business has gone to smash, and infers that his political prospects are blasted. All her love reasserts itself, and she cables, asking if she may return to him. He replies with the announcement that he is coming to her, a happy reunion ensues, and the pair take up a new career in Colorado, where Balfour is offered the stewardship of the Van Rosen ranch. The action of the last half of the story is delayed by a description of the American tour, as is the first half from being largely given over to accounts of political wire-pulling. But the descriptions of nature are delightful, and few readers object to the leisurely pace of the story.  1

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