Books: A Drum Roll of Prose

CASTLE DOR (274 pp.)—Arthur Quiller-Couch and Daphne du Maurier—Doubleday ($4.50).

This romantic novel preserves, as if in amber, all the forgotten joys of Victorian fiction. Here again are such stately nouns as provender and ablutions, adverbs like anew and perchance, adjectives like ruinated or commonsensical, once invaluable conjunctives like albeit. There are long majestic strings of rhetorical questions—"But why should sorrow be always creeping in upon joy? Why should it pierce him and find him out in this dear, beautiful place into which he had been wafted so mysteriously?" The plot—a 19th century version of the ancient tale of Tristan and Isolde—is...

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