Giuseppe and Maria (those were their names) never liked living there. The palace was much too grand, with its marble staircases, and marble floored rooms, so huge and cold; and armed soldiers for sentinels, standing at the corners and doors, to keep people from going into rooms without permission, and to keep watch also, lest somebody should get in and kill the King. The King was always afraid of being killed; there were so many unhappy and discontented persons in Italy, who did not want him to be King. Just think how frightful it must be to know every day,--morning, noon, and night,--that there was danger of somebody's coming stealthily into your room to kill you! Who would be a king? It used to make the children afraid whenever they passed these tall soldiers in armor, in the halls. They would hold tight to each other's hands, and run as fast as they could, past them; and when they got out in the open air, they were glad; most of all when their nurse took them into the country, whe
Helen Maria Hunt Jackson (1830 - 1885) was an American writer who was deeply burdened by the plight of Native Americans and spent much of her life trying to change their situation by political involvement and educating the public through her literary work, Ramona being the most famous of her work.
These sentiments are also evident in The Hunter Cats of Connorloa, a book written for children and in this work, Jackson's respect for people of color extends also to African Americans and Chinese immigrants even though there is some shading of her perspective through the culture of the mid 19th century.
In the book, a sickly bachelor takes charge of his niece and nephew on the death of his sister. Moving them from Italy to California, the book is an intriguing look at life in 19th century California.
Though people of all races are treated with respect, the animals are not, so if you're a PETA supporter, best look elsewhere.
The body count in this children's book is incredibly high and readers learn how to hunt and kill linnet's, how to use cats to keep the gopher and rabbit population down (and that by near starving them), as well as how to poison skunks.
Today, this book would be banned from most school libraries due to its treatment of animals, but it is still an interesting look at life in a time which is rather different from ours.
C. Alan Loewen
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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