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My Wife And I; Or, Harry Henderson's History

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CHAPTER IV. MY SHADOW-WIFE. MY Shadow-Wife ! Is there then substance in shadow ? Yea, there may be. A shadow—a spiritual presence —may go with us where mortal footsteps cannot go ; walk by our side amid the roar of the city; talk ...
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My Wife and I (Barnes & Noble Digital Library): Or, Harry Henderson's History

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Overview

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free.
This is an OCR edition with typos.
Excerpt from book:
CHAPTER IV. MY SHADOW-WIFE. MY Shadow-Wife ! Is there then substance in shadow ? Yea, there may be. A shadow—a spiritual presence —may go with us where mortal footsteps cannot go ; walk by our side amid the roar of the city; talk with us amid the sharp clatter of voices ; come to us through closed doors, as we sit alone over our evening fire; counsel, bless, inspire us ; and though the figure cannot be clasped in mortal arms— though the face be veiled—yet this wife of the future may have a power to bless, to guide, to sustain and console. Such was the dream-wife of my youth. Whence did she come ? She rose like a white, pure mist from that little grave. She formed herself like a cloud-maiden from the rain and dew of those first tears. When we look at the apparent recklessness with which great sorrows seem to be distributed among the children of the earth, there is no way to keep our faith in a Fatherly love, except to recognise how invariably the sorrows that spring from love are a means of enlarging and dignifying a human being. Nothing great or good comes without birth-pangs, and in just the proportion that natures grow more noble, their capacities of suffering increase. The bitter, silent, irrepressible anguish of that childish bereavement was to me the awakening of a spiritual nature. The little creature who, had she lived, might have grown up perhaps into a common-place woman, became a fixed star in the heaven-land of the ideal, always drawing me to look upward. Mymemories of her were a spring of refined and tender feeling, through all my early life. I could not then write ; but I remember that the overflow of my heart towards her memory required expression, and I taught myself a strange kind of manuscript, by copying the letters of the alphabet. I bought six cen...
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780217260169
  • Publisher: General Books LLC
  • Publication date: 8/10/2009
  • Pages: 158
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe first published her groundbreaking novel Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1852 as an outcry against slavery after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. The book sold more copies than any book other than the Bible and caused Abraham Lincoln to exclaim upon meeting her, during the Civil War, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!"

Biography

Harriet Beecher Stowe was born on June 14, 1811, in Litchfield, Connecticut, to Lyman Beecher, a Calvinist preacher and activist in the antislavery movement, and Roxana Foote, a deeply religious woman who died when Stowe was four years old. Precocious and independent as a child, Stowe enrolled in the seminary run by her eldest sister, Catharine, where she received a traditionally "male" education. At the age of twenty-one, she moved to Cincinnati to join her father who had become the president of Lane Theological Seminary, and in 1936 she married Calvin Ellis Stowe, a professor at the seminary and an ardent critic of slavery. The Stowes supported the Underground Railroad and housed several fugitive slaves in their home. They eventually moved to Brunswick, Maine, where Calvin taught at Bowdoin College.

In 1850 congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, prohibiting assistance to fugitives. Stowe was moved to present her objections on paper, and in June 1851 the first installment of Uncle Tom's Cabin a appeared in the antislavery journal National Era. The forty-year-old mother of seven children sparked a national debate and, as Abraham Lincoln is said to have noted, a war.

Uncle Tom's Cabin: Or, Life Among the Lowly met with mixed reviews when it appeared in book form in 1852 but soon became an international bestseller. Some critics dismissed it as abolitionist propaganda, while others hailed it as a masterpiece. The great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy praised Uncle Tom's Cabin as "flowing from love of God and man." Stowe presented her sources to substantiate her claims in A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin: Presenting the Original Facts and Documents Upon Which It Is Based, published in 1853. Another antislavery novel, Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp, appeared in 1856 but was received with neither the notoriety nor the success of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Stowe fueled another controversy in The True Story of Lady Byron's Life (1869), in which she accused the poet Lord Byron of having an incestuous love affair with his half sister, Lady Byron. She also took up the topic of domestic culture in works that include The New Housekeeper's Manual (1873), written with her sister Catharine. Stowe died on July 1, 1896, at age eighty-five, in Hartford, Connecticut.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Good To Know

After its publication in 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin sold more copies than any other book up to that point, with the exception of the Bible.

When it was becoming a sensation around the world, Uncle Tom's Cabin was smuggled into Russia, in Yiddish to evade the czarist censor.

Between 1853 and 1859, Stowe made several trips to Europe, and forged friendships with fellow writers George Eliot and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Christopher Crowfield
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 14, 1811
    2. Place of Birth:
      Litchfield, Connecticut
    1. Date of Death:
      July 1, 1896
    2. Place of Death:
      Hartford, Connecticut

Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER IV. MY SHADOW-WIFE. MY Shadow-Wife ! Is there then substance in shadow ? Yea, there may be. A shadowa spiritual presence may go with us where mortal footsteps cannot go ; walk by our side amid the roar of the city; talk with us amid the sharp clatter of voices ; come to us through closed doors, as we sit alone over our evening fire; counsel, bless, inspire us ; and though the figure cannot be clasped in mortal arms though the face be veiledyet this wife of the future may have a power to bless, to guide, to sustain and console. Such was the dream-wife of my youth. Whence did she come ? She rose like a white, pure mist from that little grave. She formed herself like a cloud-maiden from the rain and dew of those first tears. When we look at the apparent recklessness with which great sorrows seem to be distributed among the children of the earth, there is no way to keep our faith in a Fatherly love, except to recognise how invariably the sorrows that spring from love are a means of enlarging and dignifying a human being. Nothing great or good comes without birth-pangs, and in just the proportion that natures grow more noble, their capacities of suffering increase. The bitter, silent, irrepressible anguish of that childish bereavement was to me the awakening of a spiritual nature. The little creature who, had she lived, might have grown up perhaps into a common-place woman, became a fixed star in the heaven-land of the ideal, always drawing me to look upward. My memories of her were a spring of refined and tender feeling, through all my early life. I could not then write ; but I remember that the overflow of my heart towards her memory required expression, and I taught myself astrange kind of manuscript, by copying the letters of the alphabet. I bought six cen...
Read More Show Less

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