Ask Mamma or the Richest Commoner in England by R.S. Surtees
Hardcover. Condition: Very Good+. 1983. R.S. Surtees Society. Protected in mylar sleeve.
This delightful Victorian novel, beautifully illustrated with woodcuts by John Leech, follows the romantic exploits of two generations of the Pringle family. Miss Emma Willing is a humble seamstress who makes a good first marriage to Mr. Billy Pringle, the result of which is the hero of the story, their son Fine Billy. After the untimely death of her husband, Mrs. Pringle secures the launch of her son into polite country society by the Earl of Ladythorne. Once ensconced in the countryside, Billy soon forgets an early dalliance with a serving girl and finds himself immersed in the world of fox hunting, and courted by local society, including the Miss Yammertons. Filled with colorful and humorous characters, this book presents an affectionate but irreverent view of country life for the wealthy Victorian.