The Dark Daughters by Rhys Davis, was first published in 1947 by William Heinemann.
In 1895, wearing a smart frock-coat and an even smarter puce cravat, Mansell Roberts opened his chemist shop at the base of an arboreal North London hill intersected with rows of solid new villas. The wholesome breezes of Hampstead Heath blew down over the hill before losing themselves with a different odour in the clotted lower-class districts far below. Among tasteful scrolls heading the new chemist’s bills – and much more imposing than the actual premises – was an engraving depicting the shop’s exterior with two smart carriages drawn up at the kerb. Mansell had ordered many packages of these bills.
He was by nature adverse to giving credit but he trusted those villas with their horse-shoe drivers, stucco porticoes, flowering urns, and their roomy basements for several domestics. And to make more certain of laying a solid local foundation, he had become a worshipper at decorous St. Mark’s, though again his nature was adverse to the Established Church; he preferred those small dissenting sects catering for the less orderly souls of England.
The opening lines from this compelling story by Rhys Davies… Friends have been able to buy copies of this out of print book at different times from Amazon and on ebay.