THE GYPSY CONDESA by Gordon Langley Hall


Email this review


Sometimes a postured baroque, the story of Condesa Elisabeta de Mendoza and the daughter she left for 18 years in the Convent of the Decalced Carmelites in Sevilla is framed in the research being made by their descendants through inherited diaries and relatives' tales. For Elisabeta escapes her exile from Spain by marrying young James Harris and as his wife claims her daughter, Marta, brings her from a cloistered world to the alien one of English society -- but on Elisabeta's terms. She buys an inn, consorts with gypsies, sends complaints to Queen Victoria, and smokes cigars all the while allowing her young husband total freedom and Marta a will of her own. Marta falls in love with Edwin but through a peculiar talent for business and management marries his older brother Alfred and knows the comfort of growing wealth, although Edwin is a constant reminder of what she has missed. Freed by Alfred's death, Elisabeta arranges a marriage of gypsy rites for Marta and Edwin and dooms that wedding by her death. Ornate and florid, this excercises its eccentrics -- and its imagination.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1958
Publisher: Macrae-Smith