#1 - Chapter I - Fenella
Fate of Fenella
One book, twenty-four authors ... Fenella is the beautiful, girlish and headstrong heroine of a sensational Victorian novel which continually passes from one writer's cliffhanger to another's resolution. Fenella, with her young son Ronny, is recuperating in a Harrogate hotel, where her flirtatious behaviour has already broken the heart of a fellow guest, a rising barrister. Her feelings at her estrangement from her young husband, who appears to be flaunting his manipulative French mistress to the world, are still running high. Impulsively, she strikes back with an invitation to the French count whose flirtation had fired her husband's jealousy. The stage is set for a crime in mysterious circumstances, bringing Fenella into a sorrowful womanhood, and changing the lives of those around her forever. Violence, misunderstanding, love, intrigue, kidnapping, disaster ... mystery, sensation, social commentary, wit and romance combine across continents as each writer takes up the story.
"The publishers claim with no little satisfaction that in this book they offer the reading public a genuine novelty. The idea of a novel written by twenty-four popular writers is certainly an original one. The ladies and gentlemen who have written The Fate of Fenella have done their work quite independently of each other. There has been collaboration but not consultation. As each one wrote a chapter it was passed on to the next, and so on until it reached the hands of Mr. F. Anstey, whose peculiar and delightful humor made him a fitting choice for bringing the story to a satisfactory close." (Summary by Loveday and the Publishers' note)
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