Why Paul Ferroll Killed his Wife (1860) is a novel by Caroline Clive. Published to widespread critical and commercial acclaim, Paul Ferroll gained comparisons to Jane Eyre and predated the rise of popular detective fiction, but has since been largely forgotten.
Five years after its publication, Clive returned to the themes which made Paul Ferroll successful; through close analysis of Victorian social conventions and a skillful use of Gothic horror, she produced Why Paul Ferroll Killed his Wife, a sequel in theme as opposed to narrative. Rather than reprise the characters of her last novel, Clive sought to emphasize the universality of tension and violence in the relationships of men and women by creative a separate scenario capable of expanding upon the first. In this novel, she investigates the motives that lead to murder, illuminating the condition of the male psyche with expert precision.
A gathering convenes at an English country estate for a summer of rest and relaxation. Leslie, an Oxford student, joins his sweetheart Laura for walks in the woods and dinners with friends and family. Intending to ask for Laura’s hand in marriage, Leslie is entirely unprepared for the arrival of Elinor, a young woman on leave from a convent in Brittany. As his feelings for this religious, reclusive figure grow, he finds himself questioning his heart while slowly losing control of his formidable, yet vulnerable mind.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Caroline Clive’s Why Paul Ferroll Killed his Wife is a classic of English literature reimagined for modern readers.