My Friend Annabel Leeby Mary MacLane
THIS unexpected young woman's first bow to the public, in book form, elicited general astonishment, much ridicule, and a few faint cheers,-the latter mostly from other hysterical females. Seldom does a first book create so much, and so diverse comment. At the time of/i>
A review from The Reader: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volumes 2-3, 1904:
THIS unexpected young woman's first bow to the public, in book form, elicited general astonishment, much ridicule, and a few faint cheers,-the latter mostly from other hysterical females. Seldom does a first book create so much, and so diverse comment. At the time of its-vogue, shall we say?-the writer of this review collected many opinions from private and public sources, with the purpose of making an interesting comparison as to its effect upon different personalities. All physicians, and men of science generally, explained it away-as they stated-on a purely physical basis. Yet no male critic of them all ever grasped the full emotional situation-nor did most of her own sex, apparently; but all concurred in stating, mysteriously and speculatively, that she was young and might outgrow it! Apparently, she has done so.
Were it not for this first-so frank in all its revelations!-then it is possible this second production might gradually win some attention. But it only bears a general, smoothed-out and rounded-off resemblance to the earlier one, and has lost its spontaneity and-some other things which could better be spared. So, -by this and by that,-it would seem that "My Friend Annabel Lee" is liable to fall flat, between two conditions: there is not enough similarity between this book and the first to recommend it to those of her audience who have looked forward to more of her sensational developments, nor enough essential difference between them to gain a new public. Annabel Lee is a dainty Japanese image to which Mary's fancy turns, and we are given these imaginary conversations between them, in similar manner as we were given her diary, each chapter furnishing more or less self-analytical reflections and ponderings, in the author's distinctive style of composition. Some of these bits are to be reckoned with, however, as apt and ingeniously presented philosophy.
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