A Lady of His Own (Bastion Club, Book 3) by Stephanie Laurens

By Stephanie Laurens

Unique ebook: 2004

The seven contributors of the Bastion membership have served loyally within the perilous carrier of the Crown. Now they've banded jointly to aid each other via their most deadly venture of all: getting married.

When Charles St. Austell returns domestic to assert his identify as earl, and to settle fast on an appropriate spouse in addition, he discovers that have has made him impatient of the younger girls who vie for his attention—with the exception of woman Penelope Selborne. Years in the past, Charles and Penelope's younger ardor was once consummated in an unforgettable afternoon. Charles continues to be haunted via their interlude, yet Penny refuses to have something extra to do with him.

If controlling her center was once tough prior to, resisting a better, battle-hardened Charles is easily nigh most unlikely, but Penelope has vowed she won't make a similar mistake two times, nor will she marry with out love. but if a traitorous intrigue attracts them jointly, then eventually threatens them both—will Penny notice she has a real protector in Charles, her first and purely love, who now vows to make her his personal?

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In the contemporaneous Well-Beloved he seems to have been on the brink of "going still further" in a slightly different direction. Here he seems, at a cursory glance, to be merely toying with a psychological theory. The weakness of The Well-Beloved is that he does not take his theory seriously enough, and, as so often in the minor novels, allows intricacies of plot to obscure the central interest. Yet Proust recognised the significance of the idea and developed it in one of the major experimental works of fiction of the twentieth century.

L. Thorndike's experiments on how cats learn to escape from latched boxes, which took place in 1898. 2 7 However, this early work was concerned with animals not human beings, with learning theory not therapy (leading to Thorndike's Psychology of Learning, published in 1913) and in any case took place some years after Hardy wrote his story. Similarly, C. Lloyd Morgan was mainly concerned with observing how animals learn, though he included some speculations on the relationship of man's and animals' thinking.

It seems rather strange to suggest that Hardy imagined aversion therapy some 50 years before it was first practised; yet I have been unable to trace any written records of similar cases in Hardy's day, nor do specialists in the field of behaviour technology seem to be aware of earlier examples. Skinner 26 Thomas Hardy: Psychologt'cal Novelt'st calls Thorndike's experiments of 1898, "One of the first serious attempts to study the changes brought about by the consequences of behaviour",29 I can only conclude, then, that Hardy conceived imaginatively a technique of behaviour modification which was subsequently developed over a period of 50 years through experiments with rats, pigeons, dogs and so on and through clinical studies of human beings.

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