He pitied widows, but he mistrusted them. They knew too much. As free as unmarried women, they were fully armed; this was an unfair advantage, and when it was combined with beauty, an air of well-being, a gaiety which, in a woman over forty had an unsuitable hit of mischief in it, he felt that . . . all manhood was insulted . . . But he knew how to protect himself.
|The original cover c.1947|
Mr. Blackett sneers and belittles the Frasers to his own family at every opportunity, though he's secretly attracted to the free-spirited Rosamund. He also looks down on Mrs. Blackett's cousin Piers, a disfigured war veteran who has bought farm nearby and comes into town to sell vegetables. Blackett has always disliked Piers, ever since he returned from the war on the eve of his marriage to Mrs. Blackett, when he realized his bride cared more for her cousin but would never back out of her wedding; sadly, she realized on her honeymoon that she was trapped in marriage to a pompous ass. A friendship has struck up between Piers and Rosamund, which is another reason to dislike them both.
|Cover of the new BLWW series reprint|