WORK: A Story Of Experience. (Illustrated)

WORK: A Story Of Experience. (Illustrated)

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by Louisa May Alcott, Sol Eytinge
     
 

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This edition is about as close the an exact reproduction of the original Roberts Brother publication of 1873 and includes all 27 illustration by Sol Eytinge.

***

"Work" is a good book—healthful in tone, vivacious, interesting, and brimming over with the best intentions; If the function of a novel is to paint life, not as it is; but as it ought… See more details below

Overview

This edition is about as close the an exact reproduction of the original Roberts Brother publication of 1873 and includes all 27 illustration by Sol Eytinge.

***

"Work" is a good book—healthful in tone, vivacious, interesting, and brimming over with the best intentions; If the function of a novel is to paint life, not as it is; but as it ought to be, then "Work" is certainly not a novel. It is a tract which really throws a charm around that depressing species of literature, but it is no more "a story of experience" than Utopia is a sketch of existing social conditions.

Notwithstanding the great diversity of events and incidents through which the heroine passes, the careful balancing of good and ill-fortune, success and disappointment, and the admirably realistic style in which the whole is written, the reader feels that they are all but artificial adjuncts of the moral to be taught, and that that moral is more important than the instruments by which it is illustrated.

Of course we have no right to find fault with an author's motive, especially when that motive is confessedly good and noble, but this is Alcott's first adventure in a more difficult and important field than any she has attempted previously. It is necessary to point out that she is apparently working on a theory in which the best attainable success must be transient, and which is certainly opposed to that which actuated her earlier books. Those books we have always taken to be one of the most effective declarations of the rights of human nature against the despotic dogmas of literary and theologic moralists. Their great success was owing to the fact that they did not attempt to preach, teach, or illustrate any thing except the essential healthfulness and goodness of real "little men and women."

This simple plan has been abandoned in "Work," and is superseded by that didactic element which has been a greater bane to American fiction than any lack of talent in our authors or want of variety in our social life.

Another reason probably why we feel so little interest in "Christie" and her associates is, that on the same principle apparently that the author considers children as "little men and women," she seems to regard men and women simply as "big" boys and girls. The youthfulness of everything in "Work" is perhaps its most striking and predominant feature, and one comes after a time to look upon the characters as children, with great shrewdness and extraordinary command of good language, playing at the "experiences" of men and women as they conceive them to be. This gives freshness and relief to the story and mitigates its sombre portions but of course it renders impossible any thing like genuine sympathy and interest.

The conclusion to which all this has led us is, that in her first works Alcott has indicated what is her true field of effort. She has written some of the best children's books in the English language, or in any language. In this country at least she is without a rival who can compete on equal terms; while both here and everywhere there are plenty of writers who will undertake to settle all the problems which society presents by a book in which some hypothetical and impossible personages shall meet and solve them each and several.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013917552
Publisher:
OGB
Publication date:
02/14/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

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