Wealthy Ursula Marlows life might in danger. Murders have occurred all around her. First the lover of Ursulas WSPU (Womens Social and Political Union) friend, then girls from her social set, and finally her father. Rather than await her fate, Ursula acts after discovering that behind it all might be a deadly secret shared by her fathers business associates involving research in a South American jungle.
Ursulas constant fight to expand her world is a major plot theme. Educated at Oxford, Ursula represents the changing role of Edwardian women. Defying her fathers insistence that she marry soon, and well, she secretly works to become a journalist, takes up the cause of the plight of young, working-class women, and becomes a militant suffragette.
Jarring points are Ursulas hard to believe daring trip to the Orinoco River, the somewhat unconnected plot, and descriptions of Ursulas encounters with the brooding Lord Oliver Wrotham, which tilts the story toward the romance novel genre. Langley-Hawthornes rich historical details save the day, however, with descriptions of WSPU meetings and demonstrations, the longed for the Conciliation Bill, and her fathers stand against the rising militancy among the trade unions and threats of strikes in his northern mills and factories. Views on eugenics as a way to lessen the numbers of the poor by reinvigorate the English race are explored as well.
First in the Ursula Marlow series