"On the north-eastern shores of England there is a town called
Monkshaven, containing at the present day about fifteen thousand
inhabitants. There were, however, but half the number at the end of
the last century, and it was at that period that the events
narrated in the following pages occurred. Monkshaven was a name not
unknown in the history of England, and traditions of its having
been the landing-place of a throneless queen were current in the
town. At that time there had been a fortified castle on the heights
above it, the site of which was now occupied by a deserted
manor-house; and at an even earlier date than the arrival of the
queen and coeval with the most ancient remains of the castle, a
great monastery had stood on those cliffs, overlooking the vast
ocean that blended with the distant sky."
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