Saturday, September 5, 2009

Legends of the Province House - Lady Eleanore's Mantle

III. Lady Eleanore's Mantle

I can picture an impatient uncle waving these stories in Nat's face, "I don't think you're trying to make a living writing stories. I think you're trying to make a living sitting around drinking all day."

Aren't we all?

A little more meat to this story. I am surprised at the amount of venom directed at the aristocracy of colonial times. What would antebellum Americans have made of the cultural anglophiles we're proving to be?

This story, first published in 1838, makes reference to the second Asiatic cholera pandemic which hit the east coast in 1832. Hawthorne reminds the reader who still remembered this threat, There is no other fear so horrible and unhumanizing as that which makes man dread to breathe heaven's vital air lest it be poison, or to grasp the hand of a brother or friend lest the gripe of the pestilence should clutch him.

Words as true in the 1980s as they were in the 1830s.

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