The Red Castle, a form of wedding cake architecture which goes by the name of gothic, is on the Hudson in upper New York State--circa 1840 where an old Indian curse has been visited on its inheritors. This is established early on in the ""dawning"" here and without letting the cat out of the reticule, suffice it to say it's about Eugenia, who lives in the castle with her first, cousin--Isabel--with a maimed face, and Mark Harradine, a Major, who was to have married Eugenia but elopes with Perdita who tells the stop, and about Mark's earlier involvement with one Drusilla (""Negroid!"") and the Underground Railroad, and . . . and. . . and. . . . Younger readers will not remember that Margaret Widdemer was one of the dowagers of ladies' magazine fiction (along with Faith Baldwin, Kathleen Norris, etc.); older readers may not mind the featherbedding, or, chaise longue-urs.