DR. GULLY'S STORY by Elizabeth Jenkins
Kirkus Star


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Quite simply, Dr. Gully's story is one of those Victorian curios in which sanctimonious sentiment and decorous passion did not altogether conceal the stranger blooms of naive evil. Miss Jenkins has not tampered with the facts that have given her an exceptional story which a few may remember as the Bravo case. Dr. Gully, a highminded and devoted practitioner, earned quite a reputation for his water cure at Malvern and knew Tennyson, the Shelleys, George Eliot and others. In his middle sixties, he fell in love with a young woman, Florence Ricardo, married to a violent alcoholic so that she became the victim of neurasthenic fears and tears. Within two weeks, Gully's comforting words and sitzbaths restored her, and earned him a love strong enough to override her parents' and his sisters' disapproval after they lived together as man and wife. (Ricardo died, but there was still a Mrs. Gully.) Following Florence's pregnancy which Gully aborted, a darkly intentioned and complexioned Mrs. Cox joined the sequestered household and became indispensable to Florence. And perhaps it was she who was responsible for Florence's abandonment of Dr. Gully; certainly she had introduced her to Charles Bravo whom she would marry and who would die shortly thereafter although at whose hands has never been established. Miss Jenkins has told her story in Dr. Gully's defense and in a period style which covers any shortcomings. It is a fascinator -- new wine in an old bottle with a touch of pretty poison.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 1971
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan