Then I read on. And wow! So tragic is this story, so heartbreaking that I wonder if I could have handled it if I hadn't some idea of the outcome. I don't think so. I think it would have been unbearable. Suspense be damned--this truly is a fantastic story!
Another thing I admire about this piece, since I also happen to be writing period fiction these days, is Poole's ability to recreate the past so clearly. I know, I know, writers do it all the time, but, seriously, it's really hard to conjure real worlds that you haven't yourself experienced. Try it, sometime.