Karen Chase is the author of Polio Boulevard: A Memoir, also published by SUNY Press; Land of Stone: Breaking Silence through Poetry; as well as three volumes of poetry, Kazimierz Square, BEAR, and Jamali-Kamali: A Tale of Passion in Mughal India.
During his stay in the region, Lincoln met with a former President, several political leaders and a German immigrant group. However, his story in WNY also included connections with several individuals. He met the lady who gave up her room at the hotel for him; a little girl who gave him flowers, and in quite possibly the most famous Lincoln story of all, another little girl who wrote him a letter suggesting he grow a beard. There was even a rare photograph taken of him on the rear platform of the train, which has yet to make its way into the public eye.
With a nearly out-of-control yet enthusiastic public, a pickpocket's heaven, and even the occasional snowball, the Lincoln visit to Buffalo was for many years afterwards a memorable moment in local history. The Best of the Bargain will take you back to a long neglected story of Western New York.
The title begins with Brontë’s early Angrian tales, which introduce the problem that unifies the book: the attempt of Victorian fiction to escape the constraints of the romance mode, while assimilating its energies. There follow readings of The Pickwick Papers, Jane Eyre, Bleak House, and Middlemarch, in the light of such problems as confinement and exposure in Brontë, tragic doubt in Dickens, and the image of the moral mind in George Eliot.
The book recovers neglected episodes of this mid-century drama: the adultery trial of Caroline Norton and the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne; the Bedchamber Crisis of the young Queen Victoria; the Bloomer craze of the 1850s; and Robert Kerr's influential treatise, celebrating the ideal of the English Gentleman's House. The literary representation of household life--in Dickens, Tennyson, Ellis, and Oliphant, among others--is placed in relation to such public spectacles as the Deceased Wife's Sister Bill of 1848, the controversy over divorce in the years 1854-1857, and the triumphant return of Florence Nightingale from the Crimea. These colorful incidents create a telling new portrait of Victorian family life, one that demands a fundamental rethinking of the relation between public and private spheres.