In chapters seven through fourteen (about half of the completed manuscript), Maria relates her own life story in a narrative she has written for her daughter. She explains how her mother and father loved their eldest son, Robert, more than their other children and how he ruled "despotically" over his siblings. To escape her unhappy home, Maria visited that of a neighbour and fell in love with his son, George Venables. Venables presented himself to everyone as a respectable and honourable young man; in actuality, he was a libertine. Maria's family life became untenable when her mother died and her father took the housekeeper as his mistress. A rich uncle who was fond of Maria, unaware of Venables' true character, arranged a marriage for her and gave her a dowry of £5,000.
traditional villa patmos chora