The last notes of a favourite waltz resounded through the splendid saloons of Mrs. Montresor's mansion in Grosvenor Square; sparkling eyes and glittering jewels flashed in the lamplight; the rival queens of rank and beauty shone side by side upon the aristocratic crowd; the rich perfumes of exotic blossoms floated on the air; brave men and lovely women were met together to assist at the farewell ball given by the wealthy American, Mrs. Montresor, on her departure for New Orleans with her lovely niece, Adelaide Horton, whose charming face and sprightly manners had been the admiration of all London during the season of 1860.
If any line which we have written has gained one convert to the cause of freedom, we have not written in vain, and the feeling of regret with which we bid adieu to the kind and indulgent readers who have sympathised with the sufferings, of which we have told, will be mingled with the happy consciousness, that our labour has not been wasted, and that we have made friends for the great cause of Liberty versus Slavery, as well as for CORA, the OCTOROON.
(from Sensation Press blurb) The Octoroon (1861 - 1862) is a lurid tale of race, slavery, crime and miscegenation in the Southern states of America. Educated in Britain, Cora only learns the truth about her mother's slave origins, and her own legal position as an Octoroon, when she returns to her father's plantation in Louisiana. The Octoroon was written to coincide with the first British performance of Dion Boucicault's drama of the same name. Reviving issues raised by Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, Braddon also utilized contemporary theatre and her own experience as an actress to create a novel which has much in common with melodramas of the period ...