Miss Cayley's Adventures

Library of Alexandria
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When her stepfather dies, Miss Lois Cayley finds herself alone in the world with only twopence in her pocket. Undaunted, the intelligent, attractive, and infinitely resourceful young woman decides to set off in search of adventure. Her travels take her from London to Germany, Italy, Egypt, and India, as she faces various challenges and meets an assortment of eccentric characters. But when her true love, Harold Tillington, finds himself accused of forging a will and faces prison, Miss Cayley will need all her ingenuity to investigate the case, solve the mystery, and save Harold from the diabolical plot!

One of the first novels to feature a female detective, Grant Allen's Miss Cayley's Adventures (1899) remains as witty, enjoyable, and engaging today as when first published. This edition includes a new introduction by Elizabeth Foxwell.

"Scholars might be loath to hear this, but, popular culture being the continuum that it is, Miss Cayley's Adventures can be seen as a superior example of the chick lit of its era. Its heroine remains to this day as appealing and amusing as any Bridget Jones, and her exploits are filled with moments of wit, action, and sheer fun."- Michele Slung, editor, Crime on her Mind: Fifteen Stories of Female Sleuths from the Victorian Era to the Forties
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About the author

 Charles Grant Blairfindie Allen (February 24, 1848 – October 25, 1899) was a Canadian science writer and novelist, and a proponent of the theory of evolution.
Allen was born near Kingston, Canada West (now incorporated into Ontario), the second son of Catharine Ann Grant and the Rev. Joseph Antisell Allen, a Protestant minister from Dublin, Ireland. His mother was a daughter of the fifth Baron of Longueuil. He was educated at home until, at age 13, he and his parents moved to the United States, then France and finally the United Kingdom. He was educated at King Edward's School in Birmingham and Merton College in Oxford, both in the United Kingdom. After graduation, Allen studied in France, taught at Brighton College in 1870–71 and in his mid-twenties became a professor at Queen's College, a black college in Jamaica.

Despite his religious father, Allen became an agnostic and a socialist. After leaving his professorship, in 1876 he returned to England, where he turned his talents to writing, gaining a reputation for his essays on science and for literary works. One of his early articles, 'Note-Deafness' (a description of what is now called amusia, published in 1878 in the learned journal Mind) is cited with approval in a recent book by Oliver Sacks.

His first books were on scientific subjects, and include Physiological Æsthetics (1877) and Flowers and Their Pedigrees (1886). He was first influenced by associationist psychology as it was expounded by Alexander Bain and Herbert Spencer, the latter often considered the most important individual in the transition from associationist psychology to Darwinian functionalism. In Allen's many articles on flowers and perception in insects, Darwinian arguments replaced the old Spencerian terms. On a personal level, a long friendship that started when Allen met Spencer on his return from Jamaica, also grew uneasy over the years. Allen wrote a critical and revealing biographical article on Spencer that was published after Spencer was dead.

After assisting Sir W. W. Hunter in his Gazeteer of India in the early 1880s, Allen turned his attention to fiction, and between 1884 and 1899 produced about 30 novels. In 1895, his scandalous book titled The Woman Who Did, promulgating certain startling views on marriage and kindred questions, became a bestseller. The book told the story of an independent woman who has a child out of wedlock.

In his career, Allen wrote two novels under female pseudonyms. One of these was the short novel The Type-writer Girl, which he wrote under the name Olive Pratt Rayner.

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Additional Information

Library of Alexandria
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Published on
Nov 9, 2015
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Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Fantasy / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Romance / Action & Adventure
Literary Collections / General
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Content Protection
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Eligible for Family Library

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