The forthcoming marriage of Venetia, eldest daughter of the Duke of Southport, and 'Beauty' Winchmore is the talk of London society, and a match which has the full support of Venetia's parents. But just weeks before the wedding Venetia cries off - unable to accept that her husband-to-be will forbid her to study medicine. And within weeks of her shameful behaviour her father is dead and she is ostracised from her family, left with a tiny allowance to carry on with the 'cause' and try to qualify as a doctor.
Meanwhile at Morland Place George's new wife is whittling away at his fortune during the worst agricultural recession of the century. His sister, Henrietta, apparently safely married off to the Reverend Fortescue, has realised her marriage is a hollow pretence of conjugal bliss and falls heavily in love with a local squire - a passion which seems destined to be unfulfilled.
Another wonderful piece of fictionalised history which brings period and place to three-dimensional and colourful life.
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As the novel opens, Lady Venetia Fleetwood is engaged to be married; when she finds out that her future husband doesn¿t support her ambitions to become a doctor, she breaks off the engagement. Her distant cousin George Morland and his social-climbing wife Alfreda had been invited to the wedding, but are bitterly disappointed when it is called off. In order to improve their social standing, George and Alfreda begin an ambitious project to ¿improve¿ and modernize Morland Place.Although I enjoy this series in general, it¿s been a while since I read the previous book in the series, so I had to go back to my notes and review them before I began reading The Cause. Still, I thought that this book was more of a filler for the series¿the connection between the two branches of the family is too great. According to the family tree at the front of the book, though, Venetia and George are second cousins once removed. It would be nice if the series could focus just on one branch of the family at a time.I enjoyed watching Venetia¿s story play out further, and I also enjoyed watching how the medical profession became more open to women. But I lost interest in George and Alfreda; I think that both are stock characters seen frequently in the story of the Morland family. I realized as I read this installment in the series how accustomed to Morland Place I¿ve become; as I read about the ¿improvements¿ to the family seat I kept thinking ¿no!¿