A Simple Soul

A Simple Soul” is the perfect Gustave Flaubert short story: a tale told in spare, straightforward language full of richly observed details. The “soul” is Felicite, the exemplary servant of the austere Madame Aubin. Orphaned and illiterate, Felicite devotes her life to her mistress and Madame’s two children. Her kindheartedness extends to her nephew and…

Freedom or Death

“Freedom or Death” was named by Britain’s The Guardian newspaper as one of the top 10 greatest speeches of the 20th century. In 1913, British suffragist Emmaline Pankhurst was invited to speak in Hartford, CT, by Mrs. Katharine Hepburn, president of the Connecticut Women’s Suffrage Association and mother of the future actress. Mrs. Pankhurst traveled…

Hospital Sketches: An Army Nurse’s True Account of Her Experience in the Civil War

In Little Women, Mr. March went off to war. But in real life it was Jo (Louisa May Alcott herself, an avowed abolitionist) who traveled to Washington to nurse Northern soldiers. Despite the subject matter, her account is full of amusing anecdotes as she makes her way alone from Concord to DC, trying to finagle…