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New England (United States) (search for this): chapter 25
e came to the Old World as a queen comes to her own. Its beauty, its maturity, its solemn antiquity seemed her inheritance. Rome, magnificent and desolate, made her life a rapture. There her first child was born, and her passion of mother-love was hardly deeper than her passion of sad tenderness for the supreme city. Now for the first time her firmament was high enough to let her stand upright. She lived in this divine atmosphere for months, and then came back to the cold clearness of New England days, settled into the prosaic round of house-keeping, and gave herself much to society. In spite of household cares and baby hands tugging at her priceless hours, she saved time for the hard study which was the breath of her life. She read Swedenborg, and the tough difficulties she encountered only stimulated her. She toiled at Comte, and made new resolves of thoroughness and breadth of culture. In 1850 she again went abroad, returning to her beloved home, where she wrote most of th
Venice (Italy) (search for this): chapter 25
the Sappho, and less of the saint. Mrs. Howe has not yet mastered her splendid powers. When she has fully possessed herself America will be yet prouder of her one great woman-poet; for Harriet Prescott writes too few verses for her fame's sake, and all other women too many. Mrs. Howe's last book is just published. It is called From the Oak to the Olive; a Plain Record of a Pleasant Journey, and is the story of a trip from London to Athens, by way of Paris, Marseilles, Rome, Naples, and Venice. This journey was undertaken in 1867, to assist in distributing American supplies to the destitute and heroic Cretans. The road is old enough, but the traveller had new eyes. Her book is filled with lovely pictures of scenery and people, of high life, and low life, of clear character-drawing, and quaint fancies. More than this, it is profoundly thoughtful, and goes straight to the heart of institutions, manners, and habits of thinking. With the private life of an author, or a queen,
Northampton (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 25
Since 1860 her studies have been principally philosophical, including Swedenborg, Spinoza, Kant, Fichte, and Hegel. I am afraid, she said, naively, to a friend, I am afraid I believe in each one till I read the next. During the last eight years she has written many admirable social and philosophic papers, which she herself values far above her poems. Six lectures on Ethics were cordially received in the drawing-room, where she read them to an audience of critical listeners. And at Northampton, at the time of the meeting of the American Society of Arts and Sciences, she read, before many of the academicians, a remarkable lecture on Man a priori, and a posteriori. She has written, also, thoughtful essays, entitled Polarity, Limitation, and The fact accomplished. She gave last year, to the Christian Examiner, three able papers on The idea and name of God, on The ideal Church, and The ideal State. In 1866 she was daring enough to publish Later Lyrics, -a third volume of mi
Cuba (Cuba) (search for this): chapter 25
n New York. It was brilliant, full of dramatic feeling, and well managed, but lacked a certain theatrical suppleness, a stage-effectiveness, without which it could not succeed. In 1859 Dr. and Mrs. Howe accompanied the dying Theodore Parker to Cuba. A charming book of travels, witty, brilliant, airy, and graceful, was her account of this journey, published first in the Atlantic monthly, and then, with additions, in a volume which she called A trip to Cuba. Fun is very near feeling, in fineCuba. Fun is very near feeling, in fine souls, and all through the book, under the ring of the laugh one catches the breathing of a sigh, as the shadows of the glittering island-life, and the shadows of a parting friendship fell on the bright observer. About these days, or earlier, readers of the New York Tribune were charmed with occasional letters from Boston, from New York, or Washington, about the gay world and people and places of note, about summer days and autumn glories, about art and poetry and religion. Eagerly asking wh
Marseilles (France) (search for this): chapter 25
he Portuguese, with more of the Sappho, and less of the saint. Mrs. Howe has not yet mastered her splendid powers. When she has fully possessed herself America will be yet prouder of her one great woman-poet; for Harriet Prescott writes too few verses for her fame's sake, and all other women too many. Mrs. Howe's last book is just published. It is called From the Oak to the Olive; a Plain Record of a Pleasant Journey, and is the story of a trip from London to Athens, by way of Paris, Marseilles, Rome, Naples, and Venice. This journey was undertaken in 1867, to assist in distributing American supplies to the destitute and heroic Cretans. The road is old enough, but the traveller had new eyes. Her book is filled with lovely pictures of scenery and people, of high life, and low life, of clear character-drawing, and quaint fancies. More than this, it is profoundly thoughtful, and goes straight to the heart of institutions, manners, and habits of thinking. With the private lif
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (search for this): chapter 25
ts from the Portuguese, with more of the Sappho, and less of the saint. Mrs. Howe has not yet mastered her splendid powers. When she has fully possessed herself America will be yet prouder of her one great woman-poet; for Harriet Prescott writes too few verses for her fame's sake, and all other women too many. Mrs. Howe's last book is just published. It is called From the Oak to the Olive; a Plain Record of a Pleasant Journey, and is the story of a trip from London to Athens, by way of Paris, Marseilles, Rome, Naples, and Venice. This journey was undertaken in 1867, to assist in distributing American supplies to the destitute and heroic Cretans. The road is old enough, but the traveller had new eyes. Her book is filled with lovely pictures of scenery and people, of high life, and low life, of clear character-drawing, and quaint fancies. More than this, it is profoundly thoughtful, and goes straight to the heart of institutions, manners, and habits of thinking. With the p
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (search for this): chapter 25
then broke on the ear, the full and passionate expression, the terrible sarcasm, the sudden lyric glimpses, lavished by this intense soul dowered with the love of love, the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn, revealed a power which no woman but Mrs. Browning had exceeded. The critics decided to accept the new poet; but a nature so intense, a personality so strong as hers, is rarely understood or estimated at its worth. On the one hand she was assaulted with flattery, and on the other with abusedie to make men free, While God is marching on. In this third volume there is much less of the obscure, the fantastic, the forced. A lyrical series called Her verses, says a fine critic, are so charged with wild passion, that they recall Mrs. Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese, with more of the Sappho, and less of the saint. Mrs. Howe has not yet mastered her splendid powers. When she has fully possessed herself America will be yet prouder of her one great woman-poet; for Harriet Pre
ribune were charmed with occasional letters from Boston, from New York, or Washington, about the gay world and people and places of note, about summer days and autumn glories, about art and poetry and religion. Eagerly asking whose they were, such readers came for the first time into glad relations with Mrs. Howe, and felt her to be a benefactor, for the true thoughts and bright pictures she had given them. Since 1860 her studies have been principally philosophical, including Swedenborg, Spinoza, Kant, Fichte, and Hegel. I am afraid, she said, naively, to a friend, I am afraid I believe in each one till I read the next. During the last eight years she has written many admirable social and philosophic papers, which she herself values far above her poems. Six lectures on Ethics were cordially received in the drawing-room, where she read them to an audience of critical listeners. And at Northampton, at the time of the meeting of the American Society of Arts and Sciences, she rea
Passion Flowers (search for this): chapter 25
Mrs. Julia Ward Howe. Mrs. Lucia Gilbert Calhoun. Fourteen years ago there came from the famous press of Ticknor & Company, a small volume of Poems, whose first page, beside the imprint of the publishers, bore only the simple title-line Passion Flowers. An anonymous book of poetry does not commend itself to the reading mob, and not many copies were sold. But the critics read it, and the scholars, and that small public which had heard that it was Mrs. Howe's book, and desired to know what sort of verses a woman of society, a wit, a housewife, and a mother of children would write. It was a book that invited, and received, and defied criticism; a book powerful, pungent, and unripe. Its personalism was terrible. In every page it said, Lo, this thing that God has made and called by my name! What is it? Why is it? Behold its passions and temptations; its triumphs and its agonies; its fervors and its doubts; its love and its scorn; its disappointment and its acquiescence
artistic instinct, and kindled her religious nature. The quick spirit responded to every touch. A wise and loving man meant only to mould a wise and loving woman; but day by day the steady eyes grew more intent in their questioning; day by day the broad brow wore lines of deeper thought; day by day the elder mind caught glimpses in the younger of that strange, ineffable gift which men call genius. The brilliant girl had written verses almost as soon as she could write at all. French and Italian she readily mastered, and in time, leaving behind her the waste and weary land of German grammar, she came into such a shining inheritance of German literature as seemed to create in her new faculties of comprehension. Goethe and Schiller were her prophets and kings, and she received with large welcome the subtile philosophers of their speculative nation. While a school-girl she published first, a review of Lamartine's Jocelyn, with translations in English verse, and afterwards a more tho
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