Mary Johnston was born in the small town of Buchanan, Virginia on November 21st, 1870. As a child she suffered from frequent illness and was educated at home by family and tutors. At times books were her solace and her devotion.
When Mary was 16, her father's work on the railroad meant a move to Birmingham, Alabama. There Mary attended the Atlanta Female Institute and College of Music in Atlanta, Georgia. However, she only attended for three months and this was the only formal education she received.
After her mother's death in 1889, Mary was both her father's companion and took responsibility for bringing up her five younger siblings.
Mary’s first book dealt with Colonial times in Virginia and was published in 1898. ‘Prisoners of Hope’ was followed by another in the same vein in 1900; ‘To Have and to Hold’ was extremely successful and became the best-selling book of the year.
It was the beginning of a long line of further best-sellers, though none reached the commercial heights of ‘To Have and To Hold’. In all Mary wrote 23 novels, numerous short stories, two long narrative poems, and one play.
Her 1913 publication ‘Hagar’ eloquently captures the early days and struggles of women’s rights and is thought of today as one of the first feminist novels.
Mary’s writing and observation was so acute that even her friend Margaret Mitchell, author of ‘Gone with the Wind’, was moved to say "I hesitate to write about the South after having read Mary Johnston."
An early and active member of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia (ESL), Mary chaired the ESL's legislative and lecture committees and served as vice president from 1911 to 1914.
Mary’s deep attachment to female suffrage is preserved in her letters and correspondence. Her writings in support of women's suffrage appeared in national publications, including the Atlantic Monthly and Woman's Journal and Suffrage News.
On May 9th 1936, at age 65, Mary Johnston died of Bright's disease at her home in Warm Springs, Virginia.
A Tale of Two Cities is an 1859 historical novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel tells the story of the French Doctor Manette, his 18-year-long imprisonment in the Bastille in Paris and his release to live in London with his daughter Lucie, whom he had never met. The story is set against the conditions that led up to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror.
The beloved tales of Camelot, Merlin, the Round Table, the quest for the Holy Grail, and more. Today, the figure of King Arthur lives on in everything from fantasy novels to comedy films, but the legends surrounding him date back to somewhere in post-Roman times and were first collected by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the twelfth century. Edited for the modern reader by Sir James Knowles, Monmouth’s original collection features familiar tales of wizardry and prophecy, loyalty and leadership, battle and quest. With mystery still surrounding the historical origins of these romantic legends, this volume is an intriguing and absorbing journey into the medieval imagination.
The classic political satire about an imaginary ideal world by one of the Renaissance’s most fascinating figures.Named after a word that translates literally to “nowhere,” Utopia is an island dreamed up by Thomas More, a devout Catholic, English statesman, and Renaissance humanist who would be canonized as a saint centuries after he was executed for choosing God over king. More’s novel introduces us to Utopia’s society and its customs. It is a place of no private property and no lawyers; of six-hour workdays and simple ways; and, intriguingly, of a combination of values that blend the traditional with the highly controversial, from euthanasia to married priests to slavery. Remarkably thought-provoking, it is a novel that asks us to question what makes a perfect world—and whether such a thing is even possible.
The classic story of all-consuming ambition, madness, and tyranny.When three witches share a prophecy with Macbeth that foretells he will sit on the throne of Scotland, he does not wait for destiny to run its course. Instead, he and his wife plot to kill the presiding king—an act that will lead them not to greatness but to ruin. This play, extraordinary in its intrigue and psychological insight, has cast a powerful spell on audiences and readers since the beginning of the seventeenth century.
The Scarlet Letter is an 1850 novel by writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. The work, Hawthorne’s first full-length novel, is a classic of the American Romantic era. In June 1642, in the Puritan town of Boston, a crowd gathers to witness an official punishment. A young woman, Hester Prynne, has been found guilty of adultery and must wear a scarlet A on her dress as a sign of shame. Furthermore, she must stand on the scaffold for three hours, exposed to public humiliation.
Shakespeare’s renowned tragedy about the destruction wrought by ambition and jealousy. Othello, a Moor and general in the Venetian army, has just eloped with Desdemona, the daughter of a senator. Simultaneously, seeds of doubt are planted in Othello’s mind by the scheming Iago—an ensign who seethes with ambition and resentment—with assistance from Iago’s wealthy friend who wanted Desdemona for himself. Behind the scenes, Iago’s machinations are designed to sow discord and, ultimately, convince Othello that his wife is unfaithful—and the consequences will be tragic.
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