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Is Polite Society Polite?

by Julia Ward Howe

The papers collected in the present volume have been heard in many parts of our vast country. As is evident, they have been written for popular audiences, with a sense of the limitations which such audiences necessarily impose. With the burthen of increasing years, the freedom of locomotion naturally tends to diminish, and I must be thankful to be read where I have in other days been heard. I shall be glad indeed if it may be granted to these pages to carry the message which I myself have been glad to bear,—the message of the good hope of humanity, despite the faults and limitations of individuals.That hope casts its light over the efforts of years that are past, and gilds for me, with ineffaceable glow, the future of our race.

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Author of the Day

Deborah Swift
When Deborah Swift isn't working on her latest novel, she enjoys exploring the English countryside. It was during one of her nature walks that an "orchid guard" inspired her to write her novel, The Lady's Slipper. As our author of the day, Swift reveals why she was inspired, why she picked the 1660s as a backdrop for her book and what the orchid symbolizes.
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