William Harrison Ainsworth: Rookwood

(751 words)
  • Stephen Carver (Fukui University)

Set in Yorkshire in 1734. According to legend, whenever a branch falls from an ancient lime-tree in the grounds of Rookwood Place, a death in the family is sure to follow. Under such ominous circumstances, Sir Piers Rookwood, lord of the manor, dies suddenly, leaving his wife and two sons, one legitimate and one not, to battle over the inheritance against a backdrop of plots, counter-plots, supernatural events, ill-omens and ancient prophecy. To compound matters, both brothers are in love with their cousin, the fair Eleanor Mowbray, and another prophecy indicates that when their two families unite in matrimony, the ownership and future of the house of Rookwood is assured. Ranulph Rookwood, the legitimate heir, is every inch a hero of …

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Citation:
Carver, Stephen. "Rookwood". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 July 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2323, accessed 17 April 2014.]