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Though her name has largely been forgotten, Ella Wheeler Wilcox was perhaps the most widely read American poet of the 19th century.
Enormously popular and often controversial-her collected Poems of Passion (1883) caused an uproar with its allusions to female sexual desire-the warm sentiment and bright optimism of her writing endeared her to millions.
Her sprightly personality shines through in this 1908 volume of her essays on the early "New Age" philosophy known as New Thought, by which proponents sought to harness a mystical pan-religious spirituality for health and happiness.
In her inimitable breezy voice, Wilcox discusses the value of learning not to be easily offended, how not to let misfortune weigh down the soul, the "high calling" of parenthood, and much more. Cheery and cheering, Wilcox's thinking is just as pertinent today as it was a century ago.
American writer and freethinker ELLA WHEELER WILCOX (1850-1919) was a contributor to the New York Journal and the Chicago American. Primarily known for her poetry, she published more than 40 volumes of verse, including Drops of Water (1872) and Collected Poems (1921). The World and I, her autobiography, was published in 1918.