George Orwell

A Clergyman's Daughter

This eBook edition has been formatted to the highest digital standards and adjusted for readability on all devices.Dorothy Hare is the weak-willed daughter of a disagreeable widowed clergyman. Her father is Rector of Knype Hill, a small town in East Anglia. She keeps house for him, fends off creditors, visits parishioners and makes costumes for fund-raising events. Throughout she practises mortification of flesh to be true to her Christian faith. In the evening she is invited to dinner by Mr Warburton, Knype Hill's most disreputable resident, a middle-aged bachelor who is an unashamed lecher and atheist. He attempts to seduce Dorothy, having previously raped her on several occasions. As she leaves he forces another embrace on her and they are seen by Mrs Semprill, the village gossip and scandal-monger. Dorothy returns home to her conservatory late at night to work on the costumes. Dorothy is transposed to the Old Kent Road with amnesia. Eight days of her life are unaccounted for. She joins a group of vagrants, comprising a young man named Nobby and his two friends, who relieve her of her remaining half-crown and take her with them on a hop-picking expedition in Kent. Meanwhile, the rumour is spread by Mrs Semprill that Dorothy has eloped with Mr Warburton…
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