'The Shadow of the Rope' is a romance-mystery novel by E.W. Hornung. It revolves around a woman named Rachel Minchin, who, before the disastrous step which gave her that surname, was a young Australian lady whose apparent attractions were only equaled by her absolute poverty; that is to say, she had been born at Heidelberg, near Melbourne, of English parents more gentle than practical, who soon left her to fight the world and the devil with no other armory than a good face, a fine nature, and the pride of any heiress. It is true that Rachel also had a voice; but there was never enough of it to augur an income. At twenty, therefore, she was already a governess in the wilds, where women are as scarce as water, but where the man for Rachel did not breathe. A few years later she earned a berth to England as companion to a lady; and her fate awaited her on board.
Acerca de E. W. Hornung
E. W. Hornung (1866–1921) based his iconic characters—the gentleman thief A. J. Raffles and his sidekick, Bunny Manders—on his friends Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, as well as on his brother-in-law Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous literary creations: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The eighth child of a Hungarian timber and coal merchant, Hornung was a prolific and popular author during his lifetime, publishing in a variety of genres.