Are you ready to hop? Take this tour of 12 blogs -- some you may already know and some new ones. It's easy. It's fun. It's a good Friday diversion.
‘Tis the season, you know, for giving and receiving – mostly for giving, though, right? But, what is the nature of true giving? How does one define generosity? Philanthropy?
As is often the case, my idol, Fanny Fern, has already written the perfect seasonal column about this very topic. Who is Fanny Fern? Fanny Fern (the pen name of Sara Payson Willis), was one of the most successful, influential, and popular writers of the nineteenth century. A novelist, journalist, and feminist, Fern (1811-1872) outsold Harriet Beecher Stowe, won the respect of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and served as literary mentor to Walt Whitman. Scrabbling in the depths of poverty before her meteoric rise to fame and fortune, she was widowed, escaped an abusive second marriage, penned one of the country's first prenuptial agreements, married a man eleven years her junior, and served as a nineteenth-century Oprah to her hundreds of thousands of fans. Her weekly editorials in the pages of the New York Ledger and other periodicals over a period of about twenty years chronicled the myriad controversies of her era and demonstrated her firm belief in the motto, "Speak the truth, and shame the devil."
As part of the “Sleigh Bells and Ink Wells” Blog Hop, my blog will introduce you to the real-life writing of the heroine of my historical novel Shame the Devil. Her typically-sarcastic June 5, 1852 article, published in Boston’s The Olive Branch, follows:
“Don’t moralize to a man who is on his back;—help him up, set him firmly on his feet, and then give him advice and means.”
There’s an old-fashioned, verdant, piece of wisdom, altogether unsuited for the enlightened age we live in; fished up, probably, from some musty old newspaper, edited by some eccentric man troubled with than inconvenient appendage called a heart! Don’t pay any attention to it. If a poor wretch—male or female—comes to you for charity, whether allied to you by your own mother, or mother Eve, put on the most stoical, “get thee behind me,” expression you can muster. Listen to him with the air of a man who “thanks God he is not as other men are.” If the story carry conviction with it, and truth and sorrow go hand in hand, button your coat up tighter over your pocket book, and give him a piece of—good advice! If you know anything about him, try to rake up some imprudence or mistake he may have made in the course of his life, and bring that up as a reason why you can’t give him anything more substantial, and tell him that his present condition is probably a salutary discipline for those same peccadilloes! Ask him more questions than there are in the Assembly’s Catechism, about his private history, and when you’ve pumped him high and dry, try to teach him—on an empty stomach—the “duty of submission.” If a tear of the wounded sensibility begins to flood the eye, and a hopeless look of discouragement settles down upon the face, “wish him well,” and turn your back upon him as quick as possible.
Should you at any time be seized with an unexpected spasm of generosity, and make up your mind to bestow some worn-out old garment, that will hardly hold together till the recipient gets it home, you’ve bought him, body and soul; of course, you are entitled to gratitude of a life-time! If he ever presumes to think differently from you after that, he is an “ungrateful wretch,” and “ought to suffer.” As to the “golden rule,” that was made in old times; everything is changed now; it is not suited to our meridian.
People shouldn’t get poor; if they do, you don’t want to be bothered with it. It is disagreeable; it hinders your digestion. You would rather see Dives than Lazarus; and, it is my opinion, your taste will be gratified in that particular,—in the other world, if not in this!
Ha! You said it Fanny! To learn more about Fanny Fern and my historical novel about her, click here: Shame the Devil.
To continue onto the next “Sleigh Bells and Ink Wells” blogger, the amazing Malcolm R. Campbell, click here: Malcolm’s Round Table. From Malcolm’s site, you’ll be directed to hop to the next blog until you finish the whole short, wonderful tour of twelve blogs. Enjoy!
“Sleigh Bells and Ink Wells” blog hop participants are authors of small press/university press books that are eliciting discussion and notice. Blog hoppers include:
Smoky Zeidel @ Smoky Talks
Patricia Damery @ Patricia Damery
Debra Brenegan @ Debra Brenegan, author
Malcolm R. Campbell @ Malcolm’s Round Table
T.K. Thorne @ T.K.’s Tales
Anne K. Albert @ Anne K. Albert
Elizabeth Clark-Stern @ Elizabeth Clark-Stern’s Blog
Collin Kelley @ Modern Confessional
Sharon Heath @ Sharon Heath
Melinda Clayton @ Author Melinda Clayton
Ramey Channell @ Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge
Leah Shelleda @ After the Jug was Broken