A Cathedral Courtship by Kate Douglas Smith Wigginy
“A Cathedral Courtship“is a charming novel by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin, first published in 1893. The novel follows the story of a young American woman named Penelope Hamilton, who travels to England to visit her cousin and becomes entranced by the beauty and history of English cathedrals.
The novel is set in the late 19th century and provides a vivid glimpse into the customs and society of the time. It is a story of romance, adventure, and self-discovery, and it captures the essence of the era in which it was written.
Penelope Hamilton is a young woman from Boston who is intelligent, curious, and adventurous. She travels to England to visit her cousin, Lady Hawkhurst, and is immediately taken with the beauty and history of the country’s cathedrals. She spends hours exploring the magnificent buildings, learning their history and marveling at their architecture.
As she travels from cathedral to cathedral, Penelope meets a number of interesting characters, including the charming and witty Canon Victor Carlyle. The two strike up a friendship, and Penelope finds herself increasingly drawn to the kind and intelligent Canon.
The novel follows the ups and downs of Penelope’s relationship with Canon Carlyle. She is initially hesitant to accept his advances, as she is not sure if she is ready for a serious relationship. However, she finds herself increasingly drawn to him and begins to question her feelings.
At the same time, Penelope is also grappling with her own sense of identity and purpose. She is a young woman in a society that values convention and conformity, but she is also fiercely independent and determined to live life on her own terms. As she navigates her relationship with Canon Carlyle, she also begins to explore her own desires and ambitions, and to chart her own course in life.
Throughout the novel, Wiggin captures the beauty and grandeur of England’s cathedrals. She describes the soaring arches, the intricate carvings, and the glittering stained glass, and creates a vivid sense of the awe and wonder that these magnificent buildings inspire.
At the same time, the novel is also a reflection on the power of love and the importance of following one’s own heart. Wiggin portrays Penelope as a strong and independent woman who is unafraid to chart her own course in life, even in the face of societal pressure and convention. She is a woman who is not content to simply follow the path that has been set out for her, but who is determined to find her own way in the world.
The novel is also notable for its gentle humor and witty dialogue. Wiggin has a gift for capturing the quirks and foibles of her characters, and she infuses the novel with a sense of lightheartedness and joy that is infectious.
In many ways, “A Cathedral Courtship” is a novel that transcends its time. Its message of the importance of following one’s own heart and finding one’s own path in life is as relevant today as it was over a century ago. It is a novel that celebrates the beauty of art and architecture, the power of love, and the importance of staying true to oneself.
Overall, “A Cathedral Courtship” is a delightful and engaging novel that will captivate readers with its charming characters, vivid descriptions of England’s cathedrals, and timeless message of love and self-discovery.