“In a detailed feat of detective work, Clifford pieces together the strange story of Maria Glenn, for whom being the reputed heiress to a large slave-produced fortune proved to bring her only misfortune. Described by the Taunton Courier as ‘like a deposit in our savings Bank, to be reserved until a few more years have improved the amount of her fortune, and the value of her affections,’ she was seen merely as a prize to be won, or in her case, stolen. Abducted by a family she had thought she could trust, her reputation was ruined by the episode and its repercussions, to the point that she resorted to leaving the country.
“Clifford tells her tale with sympathy and insight, carefully picking out the chain of events from the conflicting contemporary reports. The Disappearance of Maria Glenn is a fascinating read, dispelling our romantic notions of Regency ‘elopements’ by throwing light on a case where the ‘suitor’ was clearly motivated more by avarice than love.”