Eliza Calvert Hall was not only an author of fiction but a poet, essayist, folk art historian, and passionate advocate of suffrage and women's rights. As she fought with the timeless problems of work and motherhood, her attempts to heed both the call of her art and her duty to family often left her anxious and frustrated. The fictional world she created, with serene "Aunt Jane" at its center, was therefore all the more remarkable.
Aunt Jane is Eliza Calvert Hall's most unforgettable character. She was a usual old woman from Kentucky. At first time she appeared in the story "Sally Ann's Experience" dressed in a purple calico dress with a white kerchief tied around her throat. The pockets of her gingham apron always had a piece of knitting or some other handiwork. Her cap was a "substantial structure that covered her whole head and was tied securely under her chin." Her voice was a "sweet old treble with a little lisp, caused by the absence of teeth, and her laugh was as clear and joyous as a young girl's."
While hearing about the colorful characters she has known, we also learn that Aunt Jane enjoyed a companionable, egalitarian marriage to her husband Abram, now dead. She also had two brothers, and they both were killed in the Civil War, and at least some of her children have also predeceased her. She occasionally sees her adult grandchildren but prefers staying at home, contentedly sewing her quilts, tending her garden and recollecting people and places from her past. Unafraid to speak her mind, she is nevertheless an incurable optimist, accepting change gracefully and seeing all the good and bad in her long life balancing out for the best--in many ways, the opposite of her opinionated, care-worn and often unhappy creator.
Aunt Jane is a wonderful character. Reading this book you really feel like you are in the room with her, listening to her share memories as only she can. There are several references to clothes and traditions that seem unfamiliar and sometimes unknown to us now, but not so much that the reader couldn't figure them out and enjoy the stories. This book is not only a book about the past of the United States, it is a view into everyday life in the 1800's. Aunt Jane is wise and funny and the characters she describes in the book come to life. Sometimes their lives seem to be easy and careless, but sometimes they don’t. "Aunt Jane of Kentucky" is a book, in which every page has a real life advice. Besides, everyone who is tired of modern non-stop life, will definitely enjoy reading "Aunt Jane of Kentucky", a book describing ordinary life, when people could love and valued what they had. Reading this book is like diving into childhood, when everything seemed so simple and light. Witty phrases and cute and sometimes naive characters will charm you as soon as you open the book. "Aunt Jane of Kentucky" is a classic, that needs to be read.
Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence appeared in 1764 aiming at description of the role of God in humans' lives and creation. The author researches the laws that are accepted in our society and taken by as for granted raising the problem of freedom and personal choice. The main idea of the book is that God being a creator and of governor of all humans gives them a broad freedom and allows them to live as they wish. At the first sight it seems that He does not in fact governs but if we look closer we see that his governance is almost invisible but it only makes it more powerful and wise. The author claims that God created such a system in which humans can feel their freedom in making decisions and they are free in fact. Humans can realize the existence of God or not but He definitely exists. On the basis of this good or bad things happen to people. God is depicted as kind; evil things occur because of freedom satiety. Another part of the book deals with describing the means that God employs to defend good people from bad things. Swedenborg argues that God is planning to create a good future for the human race. He does everything for it, though very slowly so that no human can notice it. Knowledge is the most important factor in this process and it leads our life. The author recognizes the existence of the absolute knowledge called the Word of God whcih influences human actions and ways how they think or act. Such complicated system aims at bringing happiness into human life in this world and after death.
Animal Ghosts by O'donnell Elliott is a real find and comfort for those who lost their loved pet. The book confirms the reader that a dead pet is not gone at all, there is an afterlife, and pets after death return as ghosts. Animal Ghosts helps in finding the way to communicate with the ghost of an animal, so that man in grief would feel that his precious pet still lives on. There are separate chapters for cats, dogs, birds, farm and wild animals. Here you can read several stories of the people who communicated with their dead pets.
If you are interested in Aristotle’s poetry, this book is a definite must have for you. "Aristotle’s Theory of Poetry And Fine Art With a Critical Text And Translation" has wonderful introduction, the full text of the poetics in Greek and English, and 300 pages of commentary, all of which is well organized for easy and selective digestion. Aristotle's Poetics is a defense against Plato's appeal to ban tragedy. He wanted to ban tragedy because he considered it to be demoralizing. Tragedy was very popular in Greek world so Aristotle asks if can it be wrong to ban it. Fabulous book!
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