The author, Margaret Hill McCarter, has given us a character in Edith who is a strong, self-assured, independent young woman. We discover that Edith is compassionate and caring despite having received scarce compassion or affection from her only living relative, her uncle. On returning to her uncle's farm, Edith recalls being sent away as a child, and the goodbye kiss from her only friend growing up, Homer Helm. The tenderness of the recollection conveys the loneliness that was her life: "The memory of that good-bye kiss had been a sacred possession in the poverty of a loveless childhood." However, while she was away at boarding school, Homer, it would seem, has grown up to be something other than the kind-hearted boy she remembers. From there the story unfolds.
At first encounter, it might seem surprising to find such a strong, independent female protagonist in a story of this era. However, considering the conditions of the time, and the life of the author, perhaps it should not be a surprise to find McCarter?s protagonist to be a young woman of such strength. In addition to being a wife and homemaker, Margaret Hill McCarter was a successful author, having published numerous short stories, pamphlets, and books. She was also active in the community and in politics. McCarter had the distinction of being the first woman to speak at a national political convention, specifically, the Republican National Convention of 1920, two months before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment acknowledging women's right to vote. As many casual students of history are aware, suffragette members of the militant National Woman's Party protested the Convention; what may be overlooked are the efforts of women like Margaret Hill McCarter who worked from within the system to help achieve the same goal.
McCarter wrote of life in Kansas in the late 1800?s and early 1900's with directness and fondness, providing modern readers an authentic, plainspoken view of American history in the years of settlement and homesteading following the Civil War. Her body of work -- the stories she wrote and her activities in the community and politics -- make publication of The Corner Stone an appropriate choice to be the first in the "Quiet Voices" series -- rediscovered works from historical authors whose voices may be newly appreciated by contemporary readers.
This edition of The Corner Stone by Margaret Hill McCarter has been annotated to include:
-- biographical information and historical context relating to the author;
-- biographical information on the illustrator;
-- a timeline of events relevant to the author's life and to events of the story;
-- maps providing geographic setting and context, with references to online resources; and
-- a brief introduction, summary and critique of the work.
|Publisher:||One Hundred Year Horizons|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.31(d)|
About the Author
Born in Indiana, Margaret Hill McCarter came to Topeka in 1888 at about the age of 28 to teach English. Two years later, she married Dr. William McCarter. She was active in the community and in politics. A member of the Republican National Women's Committee, she was the first woman to address a national convention of a major political party. McCarter was introduced at the 1920 Republican National Convention as "well known as a writer and a staunch Republican by inheritance as well as by belief." Outside the Convention, six members of the National Woman's Party protested, holding a banner reading "No self-respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a party that ignores her sex," the 1872 quote from Susan B. Anthony. While McCarter and the National Woman's Party protesters had different, even opposing, approaches, both sides helped to advance the cause of women securing the right to vote. By directly participating in the political process and by protesting to raise awareness McCarter and the National Woman's Party protestors helped women to become more fully engaged in the political domain that governed their lives. Two months after the Republican National Convention, the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified giving women the right to vote. (National Photo Company; Hart 1920)