Four Stories by American Women: Rebecca Harding Davis, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sarah OrneJewett, Edith Wharton (Penguin Classics)
Cynthia Griffin Wolff
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Representing four prominent American women writers who flourished in the period following the Civil War, this collection includes "Life in the Iron Mills" by Rebecca Harding Davis, "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Country of the Pointed Firs" by Sarah Orne Jewett, and "Souls Belated" by Edith Wharton.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
challenging chin; the gentleman, a blond stripling, trailing after her, head downward, like a reluctant child dragged by his nurse. “What does your husband think of them, my dear?” Miss Pinsent whispered as they passed out of earshot. Lydia stooped to pick a violet in the border. “He hasn’t told me.” “Of your speaking to them, I mean. Would he approve of that? I know how very particular nice Americans are. I think your action might make a difference; it would certainly carry weight with Lady
of a huge sibyl, while the strange fragrance of the mysterious herb blew in from the little garden. 3 The Schoolhouse For some days after this, Mrs. Todd’s customers came and went past my windows, and, haying-time being nearly over, strangers began to arrive from the inland country, such was her widespread reputation. Sometimes I saw a pale young creature like a white windflower left over into midsummer, upon whose face consumption had set its bright and wistful mark; but oftener two stout,
who have laughed at me little know how much reason my ideas are based upon.” He waved his hand toward the village below. “In that handful of houses they fancy that they comprehend the universe.” I smiled, and waited for him to go on. “I am an old man, as you can see,” he continued, “and I have been a shipmaster the greater part of my life,-forty-three years in all. You may not think it, but I am above eighty years of age.” He did not look so old, and I hastened to say so. “You must have left
over there where she used to live,” Mrs. Blackett went on as we began to go down the hill. “It seems as if she must still be there, though she’s long been gone. She loved their farm,-she didn’t see how I got so used to our island; but somehow I was always happy from the first.” “Yes, it’s very dull to me up among those slow farms,” declared Mrs. Todd. “The snow troubles ’em in winter. They’re all besieged by winter, as you may say; ’t is far better by the shore than up among such places. I never
grow into a young man; he was such a well-framed and well-settled chunk of a boy that nature seemed to have set him aside as something finished, quite satisfactory, and entirely completed. The wonderful little green garden had been enchanted away by winter. There were a few frost-bitten twigs and some thin shrubbery against the fence, but it was a most unpromising small piece of ground. My heart was beating like a lover’s as I passed it on the way to the door of Mrs. Todd’s house, which seemed