'No Name ' Summary
The story is told in eight major parts, called Scenes.
Scene One begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somerset, the country residence of the wealthy Vanstone family: Andrew Vanstone, his wife, and their two daughters. Norah, age 26, is happy and quiet; Magdalen, 18, is beautiful but volatile and willful. The family lives in peace and contentment, with the girls' former governess, Miss Garth.
Through amateur theatricals, Magdalen discovers she is a talented actress and falls in love with Frank Clare, who is also in the play. Frank, the idle but handsome son of a neighbour, has reluctantly tried to pursue a career but failed, and his father is not wealthy. However, the young couple wish to marry and Magdalen's fortune will easily support them.
Their fathers agree to the marriage, but before it takes place Mr. Vanstone is killed in a train crash and Mrs. Vanstone dies in childbirth. The family lawyer, Mr. Pendril, tells Norah and Magdalen that despite appearances their parents had only been married for a few months, and their wedding invalidated the will which left everything to the daughters.
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