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Antonina; Or, the Fall of Rome & Poor Miss Finch

Ancient Rome, AD 408: Young Antonia had the misfortune to live in interesting times , the days when mighty Rome was brought low by the terror of the Goths. Poor Miss Finch (1872) by Wilkie Collins is a novel about a young blind woman who temporarily regains her sight while finding herself in a romantic triangle with two brothers.Twenty-one-year-old Lucilla Finch, the independently wealthy daughter of the rector of Dimchurch, Sussex, has been blind since infancy. Shortly after the narrator, Madame Pratolungo, arrives to serve as her paid companion, Lucilla falls in love with Oscar Dubourg, her shy and reclusive neighbour, also wealthy, who devotes himself to craftsmanship in precious metals.After being attacked and knocked unconscious by robbers, Oscar is nursed by Lucilla and falls in love with her, and the couple become engaged. Their plans are jeopardized by Oscar’s epilepsy, a result of the blow to his head. The only effective treatment, a silver compound, has the side-effect of turning his skin a permanent, dark blue-grey. Despite her blindness, Lucilla suffers a violent phobia of dark colours, including dark-complexioned people, and family and friends conceal Oscar’s condition from her.Meanwhile, Oscar’s twin brother, Nugent, returns from America, where he has dissipated his fortune pursuing a career as a painter. Oscar is devoted to his brother, who is as outgoing, confident and charming as Oscar is diffident and awkward. Knowing of Lucilla’s blindness, Nugent has arranged for her to be examined by a famous German oculist, Herr Grosse. Herr Grosse and an English oculist each examine Lucilla but disagree on her prognosis. Lucilla elects to be operated on by Herr Grosse, who believes he can cure her. After the operation, but before the bandages are taken off, Madame Pratolungo pressures Oscar into telling Lucilla of his disfigurement, but his nerve fails and, instead, he tells her it is Nugent who has been disfigured.

Ancient Rome, AD 408: Young Antonia had the misfortune to live in interesting times , the days when mighty Rome was brought low by the terror of the Goths. Poor Miss Finch (1872) by Wilkie Collins is a novel about a young blind woman who temporarily regains her sight while finding herself in a romantic triangle with two brothers.Twenty-one-year-old Lucilla Finch, the independently wealthy daughter of the rector of Dimchurch, Sussex, has been blind since infancy. Shortly after the narrator, Madame Pratolungo, arrives to serve as her paid companion, Lucilla falls in love with Oscar Dubourg, her shy and reclusive neighbour, also wealthy, who devotes himself to craftsmanship in precious metals.After being attacked and knocked unconscious by robbers, Oscar is nursed by Lucilla and falls in love with her, and the couple become engaged. Their plans are jeopardized by Oscar’s epilepsy, a result of the blow to his head. The only effective treatment, a silver compound, has the side-effect of turning his skin a permanent, dark blue-grey. Despite her blindness, Lucilla suffers a violent phobia of dark colours, including dark-complexioned people, and family and friends conceal Oscar’s condition from her.Meanwhile, Oscar’s twin brother, Nugent, returns from America, where he has dissipated his fortune pursuing a career as a painter. Oscar is devoted to his brother, who is as outgoing, confident and charming as Oscar is diffident and awkward. Knowing of Lucilla’s blindness, Nugent has arranged for her to be examined by a famous German oculist, Herr Grosse. Herr Grosse and an English oculist each examine Lucilla but disagree on her prognosis. Lucilla elects to be operated on by Herr Grosse, who believes he can cure her. After the operation, but before the bandages are taken off, Madame Pratolungo pressures Oscar into telling Lucilla of his disfigurement, but his nerve fails and, instead, he tells her it is Nugent who has been disfigured.

Publication Language

English

Publication Type

Book

Publication License Type

Open Access