Author: Jone Lewis

Lucy Colman: Abolitionist, Feminist, Freethinker

Known for: a freethinker who worked for racial justice and for the education of African Americans; she accompanied Sojourner Truth on a visit to President Abraham Lincoln Occupation: reformer, activist, educator, writer Dates: July 26, 1817 – January 18, 1906 Also known as: Lucy Newhall Colman, Lucy Coleman, Lucy Davis, Lucy Newhall Danforth Colman Lucy N. Colman Biography: Lucy Newhall Danforth was born in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, in 1817. In her autobiography, she reported that from an early age, about six, she was horrified to learn of the existence of slavery, and bothered her mother with many questions about it. In 1824, Lucy’s...

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Natalie Woods Quotes

The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he’s a baby. Nick, they called me a goddamn juvenile delinquent, now do I get the part? (quoted in Gavin Lampert’s 2004 biography of Natalie Wood) In so many ways I think it’s a bore to be sorry you were a child actor – so many people feel sorry for you automatically. At the time I wasn’t aware of the things I missed so why should I think of them in retrospect? Everybody misses something or other. You get tough in this business, until you get big enough to hire people to get tough for you. Then you can sit back and be a...

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Vannozza dei Cattanei, Mother of Borgias

Vannozza dei Cattenei was the mother of Lucrezia Borgia, Cesare Borgia and two (or maybe one) other children of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, who later became Pope Alexander VI.  Borgia’s mistress, she was also an innkeeper. She lived from July 13, 1442 to November 24, 1518. Variations on her name include Vanozza dei Cattenei, Giovanna de Candia, Countess of Cattenei. Biography Vannozza dei Cattanei, as she was called, was born Giovanna de Candia, daughter of two nobles of the house of Candia. (Vannozza is a diminutive of Giovanna.) We know nothing of her early life, other than that she was born in Mantua. She may have been an innkeeper with several establishments in Rome when she became mistress of Rodrigo Borgia, then a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church (or the inns may have been property obtained with his support). He had many other mistresses before, during and after their relationship, but his with Vannozza was his longest relationship. He honored his children by her above his other illegitimate offspring. Rodrigo Borgia had been appointed a cardinal by Pope Callixtus III in 1456 — his uncle, born Alfonso de Borja, who died in 1458. Rodrigo Borgia did not take Holy Orders and become a priest until 1468 — but that did include a vow of ceibacy. Borgia was not the only cardinal to have mistresses; one rumor at the time had Vanozza...

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Transcendental Wild Oats by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott wrote this biting satire on life in a 19th century Utopian community, based on her own family’s experience at Fruitlands. She portrays the father figure as a dreamer and idealist, and the mother as the practical one who has to do all the work to meet worldly needs like food and shelter.

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An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott wrote this Thanksgiving story in 1881. In this selection you’ll find a vivid description of a New England family, “poor in money, but rich in land and love,” and their Thanksgiving dinner. The story was made into a movie by Sony Pictures, available on DVD, and shown on the Hallmark Channel. Jacqueline Bisset  stars as Isabella Caldwell and Hélène Joy as Mary Bassett.  The setting is a New Hampshire town, the time is after the American Civil War. It tells of a struggling widow and family, left poor by the death of Mr. Bassatt.  The widow’s wealthy mother comes to visit at Thanksgiving at the instigation of Bassett daughter Tilly. Values about money, virtue, reconciliation and the autonomy of children are featured. An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving November, 1881. By Louisa May Alcott. SIXTY YEARS AGO, up among the New Hampshire hills, lived Farmer Bassett, with a houseful of sturdy sons and daughters growing up about him. They were poor in money, but rich in land and love, for the wide acres of wood, corn, and pasture land fed, warmed, and clothed the flock, while mutual patience, affection, and courage made the old farmhouse a very happy home. November had come; the crops were in, and barn, buttery, and bin were overflowing with the harvest that rewarded the summer’s hard work. The big kitchen was a jolly place just now,...

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Three Poems by Alice Freeman Palmer

Alice Freeman Palmer was most noted as an educator, but she also wrote poetry.  Here are three of her published poems: THE BUTTERFLY I hold you at last in my hand, Exquisite child of the air. Can I ever understand How you grew to be so fair? You came to my linden tree To taste its delicious sweet, I sitting here in the shadow and shine Playing around its feet. Now I hold you fast in my hand, You marvelous butterfly, Till you help me to understand The eternal mystery. From that creeping thing in the dust To this shining bliss in the blue! God give me courage to trust I can break my chrysalis too! HALLOWED PLACES I pass my days among the quiet places Made sacred by your feet. The air is cool in the fresh woodland spaces, The meadows very sweet. The sunset fills the wide sky with its splendor, The glad birds greet the night; I stop and listen for a voice strong, tender, I wait those dear eyes’ light. You are the heart of every gleam of glory, Your presence fills the air, About you gathers all the fair year’s story; I read you everywhere. A SPRING JOURNEY We journeyed through broad woodland ways, My Love and I. The maples set the shining fields ablaze. The blue May sky Brought to us its great...

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