Back to books and characters

Sir Harry Hotspur Of Humblethwaite

London, Hurst and Blackett, 1871. Originally published in Macmillan's Magazine, May-Dec. 1870.

The death of his only son and heir made it necessary for Sir Harry Hotspur to make a new will. The title had to go to a distant cousin, George Hotspur, a man of great personal charm but a spendthrift and a gambler.

Sir Harry wished the ancestral property to go to his daughter Emily and hoped that when she married, her husband would adopt the family name. George Hotspur schemed to marry her to save himself from financial ruin and succeeded in winning her love.

Although she was convinced of his unworthiness, she believed that she alone could save him, but she had promised her father not to marry without his consent and this Sir Harry refused to give. George was bought off by the family lawyers and eventually married his mistress, an actress who had been supporting him. Emily was taken to Italy by her parents, where she died.


"This is one of the little stories, only an episode, a proud, generous, irascible old father, a gentle faithful-unto-death little heroine, and a villain of desperate wickedness."- Walpole.

...had for its object the telling of some pathetic incident in life rather than the portraiture of a number of human beings.