The House of Martha

The House of Martha


(2 Reviews)
The House of Martha by Frank R. Stockton





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The House of Martha


(2 Reviews)
The humorous story of a man who falls in love with a nun.

Book 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

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(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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