Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
The pretty young Marquise Maria da Vincitata, daughter of a Scottish merchant of Leghorn, fell in love with young Denis Moore within the year after her marriage and met with him secretly in France while her husband was taking a cure for his gout. Don Luis, the arrogant Marquis da Vincitata, discovering the intrigue, spirited his wife away and killed her gallant, luckless lover when he started out in pursuit. Maria’s baby was born high in the Alps. After his wife died during childbirth, Don Luis took the child to Leghorn, where he stealthily deposited the infant at the Convent of Jesus the Child. The only tokens of its parentage were a cape and a statue of the Madonna that had belonged to Maria.
The boy, christened Anthony by the nuns, lived at the convent until he was age ten. Then he was delivered to a prominent merchant of the town, Mr. Bonnyfeather, to become his apprentice.
Bonnyfeather and his housekeeper had no trouble recognizing the cape and the doll as possessions of the merchant’s daughter, Maria. Although Anthony was given the surname Adverse and was not told of his relationship to his benefactor, he was carefully educated with the tacit understanding that he would one day inherit the flourishing Bonnyfeather business.
Anthony matured early. Seduced by the housekeeper, Faith Paleologus, he also had a brief affair with the cook’s daughter, Angela. He was also attracted to the English consul’s daughter, Florence...
(The entire section is 1282 words.)
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