Annie Kilburn

Annie Kilburn
A Novel

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4
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Annie Kilburn  by William Dean Howells

Published:

1888

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Annie Kilburn
A Novel

By

4
(1 Review)

Book Excerpt

idden him drive slowly, so that she could see all the changes, and she noticed the new town-hall, with which she could find no fault; the Baptist and Methodist churches were the same as of old; the Unitarian church seemed to have shrunk as if the architecture had sympathised with its dwindling body of worshippers; just beyond it was the village green, with the soldiers' monument, and the tall white-painted flag-pole, and the four small brass cannon threatening the points of the compass at its base.

"Stop a moment, Mr. Bolton," said Miss Kilburn; and she put her head quite out of the carriage, and stared at the figure on the monument.

It was strange that the first misgiving she could really make sure of concerning Hatboro' should relate to this figure, which she herself was mainly responsible for placing there. When the money was subscribed and voted for the statue, the committee wrote out to her at Rome as one who would naturally feel an interest in getting something fit and economical for them.

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It’s tough to be a heroine in Boxboro

The Author

William Dean Howells was considered the “Dean of American letters” from the late 19th century, through the first decades of the 20th century. He was a personal friend of Henry James and Mark Twain. He was a strong and influential supporter of many of the up coming writers of the time, including Emily Dickenson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Frank Norris and Stephan Crane among others. He is considered the leader of the American school of “realism”.

The Story

First, Annie Kilburn is not a romance; rather it is a story of class consciences in a small American town. Annie returns from Rome after her father dies to Boxboro Massachusetts, where her family is held in high esteem, as her father was formerly a Congressman. She is called upon by the ladies of the community, to support a charitable event for the benefit of the under privileged working class. But, is it really about charity or is simply a means to justify another round of gossip and frivolous entertainment for the bored and idle upper class of Boxboro?

You figure it out. However, it may not as easy as you think, because everybody has their flaws, in Boxboro.
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