In that chief excellence of fictitious writing—the hold upon the sympathies of the reader — Harriet Beecher Stowe is unquestionably without rival.
This feature alone will, despite of palpable defects, secure readers and admirers among all classes of the community. It is the sign of genius. The elaborate working of talent and culture always fails to touch the emotions. The gift that stirs feeling is spontaneous, is never super-induced. It is easy to understand why Mrs. Stowe succeeds best in the portrayal of rough, uncultivated personages and character—why in passing to the cultivated and the refined, her narrative too often sinks to description, and her dialogue becomes sometimes dull and heavy. The Pearl of Orr's Island will have, if not a larger number of readers than "Agnes of Sorrento," yet a more constant hold upon them.
Genius deals best with the rough material of human character — it does not see so clearly when it handles the artificial product of society. The book first named, gives greater scope to genius; the other develops more of culture and refinement. The first portrays to the life, events that are identified as real, as occurring every day within the circle of our own experience; the second is a resuscitation of Italian life, religious and social, superstitious and despotic, of the fifteenth century. As in the former stories by the same writer, the somber features of the narrative are continually lighted up by touches, sometimes jets, of humor. Smiles succeed tears. Neither book will want for readers.
Either will do something more and better than simply to entertain.
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||807 KB|
About the Author
Date of Birth:June 14, 1811
Date of Death:July 1, 1896
Place of Birth:Litchfield, Connecticut
Place of Death:Hartford, Connecticut