Irene Iddesleigh

- By Amanda McKittrick Ros
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Anna Margaret Ross (née McKittrick; 8 December 1860 – 2 February 1939), known by her pen-name Amanda McKittrick Ros, was an Irish writer.[1] She published her first novel Irene Iddesleigh at her own expense in 1897. She wrote poetry and a number of novels. Her works were not read widely, and her eccentric, over-written, "purple" circumlocutory writing is alleged by some critics to be some of the worst prose and poetry ever written. McKittrick was born in Drumaness, County Down, on 8 December 1860, the fourth child of Eliza Black and Edward Amlave McKittrick, Principal of Drumaness High School.[2] She was christened Anna Margaret at Third Ballynahinch Presbyterian Church on 27 January 1861. In the 1880s she attended Marlborough Teacher Training College in Dublin, was appointed Monitor at Millbrook National School, Larne, County Antrim, finished her training at Marlborough and then became a qualified teacher at the same school.[1]
CHAPTER I.
SYMPATHISE with me, indeed! Ah, no! Cast your sympathy on the chill waves of troubled waters; fling it on the oases of futurity; dash it against the rock of gossip; or, better still, allow it to remain within the false and faithless bosom of buried scorn.
Such were a few remarks of Irene as she paced the beach of limited freedom, alone and unprotected. Sympathy can wound the breast of trodden patience,-it hath no rival to insure the feelings we possess, save that of sorrow.
The gloomy mansion stands firmly within the ivy-covered, stoutly-built walls of Dunfern, vast in proportion and magnificent in display. It has been built over three hundred years, and its structure stands respectably distant from modern advancement, and in some degrees it could boast of architectural 10 designs rarely, if ever, attempted since its construction.
The entrance to this beautiful home of Sir Hugh Dunfern, the present owner, is planned on most antique principles; nothing save an enormous iron gate meets the gaze of the visitor, who at first is inclined to think that all public rumours relative to its magnificence are only the utterances of the boastful and idle; nor until within its winding paths of finest pebble, studded here and there with huge stones of unpolished granite, could the mind for a moment conceive or entertain the faintest idea of its quaint grandeur.
Beautiful, however, as Dunfern mansion may seem to the anxious eye of the beholder, yet it is not altogether free from mystery. Whilst many of its rooms, with walls of crystal, are gorgeously and profusely furnished, others are locked incessantly against the foot of the cautious intruder, having in them only a few traditional relics of no material consequence whatever, or even interest, to any outside the ancestral line of its occupants.
It has often been the chief subject of comment amongst the few distinguished visitors welcomed 11 within its spacious apartments, why seemingly the finest rooms the mansion owned were always shut against their eager and scrutinizing gaze; or why, when referred to by any of them, the matter was always treated with silence.
All that can now be done is merely to allow the thought to dwindle into bleak oblivion, until aroused to that standard of disclosure which defies hindrance. Within the venerable walls surrounding this erection of amazement and wonder may be seen species of trees rarely, if ever, met with; yea, within the beaded borders of this grand old mansion the eye of the privileged beholds the magnificent lake, studded on every side with stone of costliest cut and finish; the richest vineries, the most elegant ferns, the daintiest conservatories, the flowers and plants of almost every clime in abundance, the most fashionable walks, the most intricate windings that imagination could possibly conceive or genius contrive. In fact, it has well been named "The Eden of Luxury."
Dunfern mansion was handed down as an heirloom since its purchase by Walter, third Earl of Dunfern, in 1674; and since then has been tenderly cared for internally, and carefully guarded externally, 12 by the skilful hands of noted artisans. The present owner is only son of Sir John Dunfern, by Irene, adopted daughter of Lord and Lady Dilworth, of Dilworth Castle, County Kent.

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Word Lists:

Heirloom : a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations

Mansion : a large, impressive house.

Profusely : to a great degree; in large amounts

Beholder : a person who sees or observes someone or something

Faithless : disloyal, especially to a spouse or partner; untrustworthy

Clime : a region considered with reference to its climate

Hindrance : a thing that provides resistance, delay, or obstruction to something or someone

Ancestral : of, belonging to, inherited from, or denoting an ancestor or ancestors

Artisan : a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand

Dwindle : diminish gradually in size, amount, or strength

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Additional Information:

Words: 546

Unique Words : 318

Sentences : 17

Reading Time : 2:25

Noun : 148

Conjunction : 41

Adverb : 36

Interjection : 0

Adjective : 50

Pronoun : 26

Verb : 86

Preposition : 87

Letter Count : 2,658

Sentiment : Positive

Tone : Formal

Difficult Words : 190

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