This is the tale of the rise and fall of a gullible young woman who comes under the tutelage of a "quack," a practitioner of faith healing. Phillida firmly believes that she has the gift of healing and the reader finds herself wanting to warn her that she is about to unwittingly harm herself and others. The polemic against this form of medical charlatanism is only thinly veiled in the "art" of the romance form in which it is written. The plot itself is much less intriguing than the cast of characters Eggleston creates to expose the methods of late nineteenth century spiritual mesmerism as a means of public exploitation. --litmed.med.nyu.edu.
A primer relating many interesting episodes in United States history. Ease of reading is enhanced with a controlled vocabulary and short sentences; many words are divided into syllables to help readers sound out unfamiliar words.
Based on the author's own life as well as the life of Ohio itinerant preacher Jacob Young, this 1874 novel of a frontier Methodist minister and Bible agent presents a rollicking yet realistic view of early American life in the Midwest. Corn-shuckings, camp meetings, revivals, revels, and highwaymen color this novel-as-social-history.
Regional novel by Edward Eggleston, first serialized in Hearth and Home in 1871 and published in book form the same year. The novel is primarily of interest for its naturalism, its setting in rural Indiana, and its extensive use of Hoosier dialect. Based partially on the experiences of the author's brother, the novel relates episodes in the lives of inhabitants of a backwoods Indiana town as well as the experiences of the young man who is hired to be the only teacher in the town's school. --The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature.
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