“The Rhine! the Rhine!” is quoted by every one, and admired or abused at every fireside, but the Moselle is almost wholly unexplored. Lying, as she does, within a district absolutely overrun with summer-tourists, it is altogether inexplicable that a river presenting scenery unsurpassed in Europe should be so neglected by those who in thousands pass the mouth of her stream. When the Roman Poet Ausonius visited Germany, it was not the Rhine, but the Moselle which most pleased him; and although glorious Italy was his home, yet he could spare time to explore the Moselle, and extol the loveliness of her waters in a most eloquent poem.
The Moselle, which rises among the wooded mountains of the Department des Vosges, never during its whole course is otherwise than beautiful. Below Trèves it passes between the Eifel and Hunsruck ranges of mountains, which attain to the height of ten or twelve hundred feet above the level of the river.
In the Thirty Years’ War the Moselle country suffered severely from the ravages of the different armies; but there still remain on the shores of this river more old castles and ruins, and more curious old houses, than can elsewhere be found in a like space in Europe.
Having in the following pages endeavoured to lay before English readers the interesting scenery of the Moselle, I trust, that although in summer my countrymen do not mount her stream, fearful, perhaps, of discomfort; yet that by the fireside in winter the public will not object to glide down the river, in the boat now ready for them to embark in; and hoping that they will enjoy the reproduction of a tour that afforded me so much pleasure,
I subscribe myself
Their humble servant,
Richmond, December 1858.
"At a short distance from Bussang, a little town in the Department des Vosges in France, is the source of the Moselle; trickling through the moss and stones that, together with fallen leaves, strew the ground, come the first few drops of this beautiful river.
A few yards lower down the hill-side, these drops are received into a little pool of fairy dimensions; this tiny pool of fresh sweet water is surrounded by mossy stones, wild garlic, ferns, little creepers of many forms, and stems of trees.
Here, then, O reader, let us pause and contemplate the birth-place of our stream; leaving the world of stern reality, let us plunge together into the grateful spring of sweet romance; and while the only sounds of life that reach our ears are the rustling of the leaves, the buzz of the great flies, the murmur of the Moselle, and the distant ringing of the woodman’s axe, let us return with Memory into the past, and leaving even her behind, go back to those legendary days when spirits purer than ourselves lived and gloried in that beautifully created world which we are daily rendering all unfit for even the ideal habitation of such spirits.
And reverie is not idleness; in hours like these we seem to see before us, cleared from the mists of daily cares, the better path through life—the broad straight path, not thorny and difficult, as men are too prone to paint it, but strewed with those flowers and shaded with those trees given by a beneficent Creator to be enjoyed rightly by us earthly pilgrims.
Life is a pilgrimage indeed, but not a joyless one. While the whole earth and sky teem with glory and beauty, are we to believe that these things may not be enjoyed? Our conscience answers, No; rightly to enjoy, and rightly to perform our duties, with thankfulness, and praise, and love within our hearts, such is our part to perform, and such the lesson we are taught by the fairy of the sweet Moselle.."
Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.
Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.
Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.
Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.
This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.