More in the longplaying family history of Gower Street and Paddington Green, sustained by blood or bad blood. (This series does not need to be read consecutively unless you choose to do so.) While Abby, of the last book, is happily married and caring for her two young ones, others--particularly unsightly Lilith hiding behind her veils--are disrupted by the return of Lilith's daughter Lydia, now an actress, to appear at the Haymarket. Lydia makes possible the debut there of young Phoebe who has turned down her doctor/cousin Freddie but is later indiscrimininately seduced by Lydia's lover. Three months horn, Phoebe turns to Freddie for assistance and he procures an abortion for her, the malpractice of the period. Carefully attired in its 19th-century setting and told with a sympathetic probity so often absent in the category.