Melissa's Tour

Library of Alexandria
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Publisher
Library of Alexandria
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Published on
Dec 31, 1896
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Pages
20
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ISBN
9781465531711
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Features
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is a collection of stories by Grant Allen, published in various years.The title story is personal. Allen nearly drowned when he fell through the ice while skating as a boy in Canada, and wrote about the experience anonymously for the Pall Mall Gazette in 1892. He claimed to have been "as dead as he ever can be or will be" and that he had no "after death" experiences. This suited his atheistic position, of course. In fact he was not "dead" at all; just unconscious, and he was quickly revived by brandy and massage.

The stories are:
HOW IT FEELS TO DIE. BY ONE WHO HAS TRIED
IT (1892);
MERIEL STANLEY, POACHER (1900);
A STUDY FROM THE NUDE (1895);
MY ONE GORILLA (1890);
THE TRADE OF AUTHOR (1889);
A SCRIBBLER'S APOLOGY (1883).

The last two are non-fiction essays by Allen about the craft of writing in his time.Here are brief reviews by Peter Morton:

"'A SCRIBBLER'S APOLOGY'. A splendidly agonised piece about the true social worth of the journeyman writer's life, particularly the worth (if any) of the kind of 'tootler' which Allen represents himself as being. Published in the Cornhill in May 1883."

"'THE TRADE OF AUTHOR'. This remarkable article, published in the Fortnightly Review in 1889, has just been identified as by Grant Allen. (It is not attributed in the Wellesley Index.) It is a brilliant analysis of the professional writer's plight at the time, worthy to be set against Gissing's New Grub Street."

The source of these 6 stories is the website by Peter Morton, author of "The Busiest Man in England": Grant Allen and the Writing Trade, 1875-1900, published by Palgrave Macmillan, as linked from the Wikipedia page about Grant Allen.

Example in this ebook


CHAPTER XV. A DOOR OPENS

Another year had passed, and Colin, now of full age, had tired of working for Cicolari. It was all very well, this moulding clay and carving replicas of afflicted widows; it was all very well, this modelling busts and statuettes and little classical compositions; it was all very well, this picking up stray hints in a half-amateur fashion from the grand torsos of the British Museum and a few scattered Thorwaldsens or antiques of the great country houses; but Colin Churchill felt in his heart of hearts that all that was not sculpture. He was growing in years now, and instead of learning he was really working. Still, he had quite made up his mind that some day or other he should look with his own eyes on the glories of the Vatican and the Villa Albani. Nay, he had even begun to take lessons in Italian from Cicolari—counting his chickens before they were hatched, Minna said—so that he might not feel himself at a loss whenever the great and final day of his redemption should happen to arrive. The dream of his life was to go to Rome, and study in a real studio, and become a regular genuine sculptor. Nothing short of that would ever satisfy him, he told Minna: and Minna, though she trembled to think of Colin's going so far away from her—among all those black-eyed Italian women, too—(and Colin had often told her he admired black eyes, like hers, above all others)—poor little Minna could not but admit sorrowfully to herself that Rome was after all the proper school for Colin Churchill. 'The capital of art,' he repeated to her, over and over again; must it not be the right place for him, who she felt sure was going to be the greatest of all modern English artists?

But how was Colin ever to get there?

Going to Rome costs money; and during all these years Colin had barely been able to save enough to buy the necessary books and materials for his self-education. The more deeply he felt the desire to go, the more utterly remote did the chance of going seem to become to him. 'And yet I shall go, Minna,' he said to her almost fiercely one September evening. 'Go to Rome I will, if I have to tramp every step of the way on foot, and reach there barefoot.

Minna sighed and the tears came into her eyes; but strong in her faith and pride in Colin, strong in her eager desire that Colin should give free play to his own genius, she answered firmly with a little quiver of her lips, 'You ought to go, Colin; and if you think it'd help you, you might take all that's left of my savings, and I'd go back again willingly to the parlour-maiding.'

Colin looked at the pretty little pupil-teacher with a look of profound and unfeigned admiration. 'Minna,' he said, 'dear little woman, you're the best and kindest-hearted girl that ever breathed; but how on earth do you suppose I could possibly be wretch enough to take away your poor little savings? No, no, little woman, you must keep them for yourself, and use them for making yourself—I was going to say into a lady—but you couldn't do that, Minna, you couldn't do that, for you were born one already. Still, if you want me to be a real sculptor, I want you, little woman, just as much to be a real educated gentlewoman.' Colin said the last word with a certain lingering loving cadence, for it had a good old-fashioned ring about it that recommended it well to his simple straightforward peasant nature.

'Well, Colin,' Minna went on, blushing a bit (for that last quiet hint seemed half unintentionally to convey the impression that Colin really possessed a proprietary right in her whole future), 'we must try our best to find out some way for you to go to Rome at last in spite of everything. You know, meanwhile, you've got good employment, Colin, and that's always something.'


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