Miss Cayley’s Adventures is definitely a Victorian novel. Like many works of the period it first appeared in serial form – part one was published in The Strand in March 1898.
But Lois Cayley is definitely not a typical Victorian heroine.
When her stepfather dies Miss Cayley finds herself alone in the world. The obvious thing to do would be to take her friends advice and find respectable employment as a teacher or in a hat-shop. Does she do that? No. Miss Cayley decides to step out into the world in search of adventure, grabbing whatever chances come her way.
The adventures come thick and fast, and the storytelling is quite wonderful.
Miss Cayley travels through Germany, Italy, Egypt and India. And in the course of her travels she becomes a lady’s maid, a bicycle saleswoman, a house-sitter, the proprietor of a secretarial agency and a journalist. She foils a robbery, wins a cycle race and rescues an injured mountaineer.
Yes, Miss Cayley is bright, articulate, athletic and extremely resourceful. She is also engaging from the first sentence and so very likeable.
Along the way Miss Cayley makes many friends, a few enemies and she meets her true love.
It is to save him from imprisonment for a crime that she finally return to London. Does Miss Cayley save the day? Is there a happy ending? Well what do you think?!
Miss Cayley’s Adventures provide wonderful entertainment from beginning to end!