Scandalous charges, shocking countercharges, stained dresses,
sealed letters --- these are the stuff of 20th-century sex scandals
like the Clinton/Lewinsky affair, right? Not so, proves Emma
Donoghue in THE SEALED LETTER, a novel set in the Victorian era,
centered on a highly publicized divorce case that ruined lives and
riveted an entire country.
The book’s central character is Emily Faithfull, nicknamed
Fido. An enlightened preacher's daughter who supports herself
through her printing business, Fido is at the forefront of the
burgeoning movement for women's rights in England. But all her
success, not to mention her reputation, is put at risk when Fido's
oldest friend, Helen Codrington, returns to London from her
husband's posting in Malta.
Helen, with her fashionable style, good looks a