The Rich Mrs. Burgoyne

The Rich Mrs. Burgoyne

Kathleen Thompson Norris

Classics / Fiction / Historical

"Tells the story of a mother who knows how to teacher her children the real richness of life." -Continent "Mrs. Burgoyne, a widow reputed to be of great wealth, comes with her two little girls to live in Santa Paloma, where her example works such a revolution among the town's pleasure-seeking and money-loving wives that when they have at last found out that Mrs. Burgoyne is not a rich woman, after all, her simple habits and refined tastes have become quite the fashion. The social lioness of the place has bee Mrs. White, clever, rich and purposely childless." -America Barry was usually welcome everywhere, although not at all approved in many cases, and criticised even by the people who liked him best. He was a sort of fourth cousin of Mrs. Carew, who sometimes felt herself called to the difficult task of defending him because of the distant kinship. He was very handsome, lean, and dark, with a sleepy smile and with eyes that all children loved; and he was clever, or, at least, everyone believed him to be so; and he had charm—a charm of sheer sweetness, for he never seemed to be particularly anxious to please. Barry was very gallant, in an impersonal sort of way: he took a keen, elder-brotherly sort of interest in every pretty girl in the village, and liked to discuss their own love affairs with them, with a seriousness quite paternal. He never singled any girl out for particular attention, or escorted one unless asked, but he was flatteringly attentive to all the middle-aged people of his acquaintance and his big helpful hand was always ready for stumbling old women on the church steps, or tearful waifs in the street—he always had time to listen to other people's troubles. Barry—everyone admitted—had his points. But after all— After all, he was lazy, and shiftless, and unambitious: he was content to be assistant editor of the Mail; content to be bullied and belittled by old Rogers; content to go on his own idle, sunny way, playing with his small, chubby son, foraging the woods with a dozen small boys at his heels, working patiently over a broken gopher-trap or a rusty shotgun, for some small admirer. Worst of all, Barry had been intemperate, years ago, and there were people who believed that his occasional visits to San Francisco, now, were merely excuses for revels with his old newspaper friends there. And yet, he had been such a brilliant, such a fiery and ambitious boy! All Santa Paloma had taken pride in the fact that Barry Valentine, only twenty, had been offered the editorship of the one newspaper of Plumas, a little town some twelve miles away, and had prophesied a triumphant progress for him, to the newspapers of San Francisco, of Chicago, of New York! But Barry had not been long in Plumas when he suddenly married Miss Hetty Scott of that town, and in the twelve years that had passed since then the golden dreams for his future had vanished one by one, until to-day found him with no one to believe in him—not even himself.
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Mother: A Story

Mother: A Story

Kathleen Thompson Norris

Classics / Fiction / Historical

Mother is a romance by Kathleen Norris, one of the most successful women writers of the first decades of the 20th century. The story was published in 1911 and it was the first out of the 75 novels by the author. It brought Norris instant success and established her as a novelist so popular that President Theodore Roosevelt visited the author personally to congratulate her.The story is set in a small town a few hours' distance from New York. The Mother in the title is Mrs. Paget, a woman devoted to her husband and her seven children, willing to undertake hardships and never ceasing to sacrifice her own good for her loved ones, but most of the story is about her beautiful daughter, Margaret. The girl is charming and wishes to live a life of richness and luxury, but is forced to stay with her family, teaching at the local school. A strange incident introduces her to a rich lady from New York, Mrs. Carr-Boldt, who is charmed by the young girl and invites her to the city to become her secretary. Margaret accepts the job offer and moves to Mrs. Carr-Boldt's luxurious home. The two ladies go abroad where Margaret meets Dr. Tenison, a charming young gentleman and they fall in love with each other. They are forced to part, then they become reunited in Margaret's home town.At the end of the novel, Tenison meets Margaret's mother, too and he tells the girl that he recognizes in her the qualities she inherited from her mother and these are in fact the qualities that he finds most charming about Margaret. It is these qualities what makes Margaret's character so exemplary and what makes the novel resonate with today's readers, too - the appreciation of love over riches, of depth over shallowness and of family values over mundane life.
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