The House of Martha

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Published: 1891
Language: English
Wordcount: 94,048 / 256 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 60.1
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,056
Added to site: 2006.07.14 11206
Genres: Humor, Romance

The humorous story of a man who falls in love with a nun.

Show Excerpt

as! I knew of no such good angels. Must that which I had to tell remain forever untold for the want of one? This could not be; there must exist somewhere a man or a woman who would be willing to hear my accounts of travels and experiences which, in an exceptionable degree, were interesting and valuable.

I determined to advertise for a listener.



The writing of my advertisement cost me a great deal of trouble. At first I thought of stating that I desired a respectable and intelligent person, who would devote a few hours each day to the services of a literary man; but on reflection I saw that this would bring me a vast number of answers from persons who were willing to act as secretaries, proof-readers, or anything of the sort, and I should have no means of finding out from their letters whether they were good listeners or not.

Therefore I determined to be very straightforward and definite, and to state plainly what it was I wanted. The following i


Average Rating of 5 from 2 reviews: *****
Henry L. Ratliff

(1891) Humor / Romance

R: * * * * *

Plot bullets

  • A man fines that his travel stories fall on deaf ears. He needs a a hired listener.

  • The listener turns into an understudy: one who sits in for him when he is otherwise engaged.

  • The listener/understudy idea works out well, but he decides that while one faithful listener is good, he needs to commit his travels to book form.

  • There is in his town a benevolent society/charity of ladies who while not a religious organization, adopt some simular rigid standards. It is the House of Martha.

  • The would be author, hires one of the ladies (a pretty girl actually), as a stenographer, with the money going to the society.

  • The arrangements are strained at first, but you guessed it they fall in love.
  • Happiness is not quite so quickly attained. We have, these components/obstacles to consider:

    o The man himself Hopelessly in love.

    o The girl, is in love with the man, but is torn between her duty to the House of Martha, past disappointments and what she considers maybe, a selfish love on her part.

    o The listener/understudy/valet who has become essential.

    o The head of the House of Martha. Sympathetic, but loyal to the creed of the society.

    o The less sympathetic and understanding sisters, at the society.

    o The girls family. Not typical, to say the least.

    o The family friend, who has the ways, but not the means to make all right.


A wonderful story! Other than the unlikely circumstances of correlated people meeting in out of the way places, which I consider pushing the idea of “fate” a little too far, this is an excellent romance and I encourage it read.

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