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Cover of: Belchamber | Howard Overing Sturgis
About the Book


Charles Edwin William Augustus Chambers—Marquis and Earl of Belchamber, Viscount Charmington, and Baron St. Edmunds and Chambers—known familiarly as Sainty, is the scion of an ancient English aristocratic family. Behind him stretches a rogues’ gallery of picturesque upper-crust scoundrels. But he is uninterested in riding to hounds or drinking or whoring in the great tradition of his forebears, and though he admires his tough-minded puritanical Scottish mother, he lacks her unrelenting moral self-assurance. Sainty is instead a sensitive soul, physically delicate, sexually timid, intellectually inclined, utterly honest, and thoroughly decent, but constitutionally incapable of asserting himself. When it comes to assuming the responsibilities of his inheritance, to managing his feckless younger brother Albert or fathoming his sly cousin Clyde, and, above all, to the essential business of marrying and continuing the family line, Sainty hasn’t a prayer.


Belchamber is one of the most beautiful places in England. The name, if not the house, dates from days when Norman-French was the polite language of our kings; the reigning monarch, some early Henry or Edward, alighting for the night, as was the habit of reigning monarchs, at the house of his vassal, and having been especially pleased with something about the apartment prepared for his use, is said to have remarked in high good humour, "Pardie! tu as là une belle chambre."
Page 1, added anonymously.

2 editions First published in 1905

Edition Read Locate Buy
Cover of: Belchamber
2008, NYRB Classics
Cover of: Belchamber
1905, G. P. Putnam's sons


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August 5, 2014 Edited by Ronald Waugh revised description
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