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The Angel of the Tenement   By: (1866-1936)

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In the bustling streets of New York City, amidst the towering tenements and the hardships of the lower class, emerges a truly heartwarming tale in George Madden Martin's "The Angel of the Tenement." Set in the late 19th century, this poignant story takes readers on a remarkable journey of compassion, resilience, and the power of human connections.

At the center of the narrative is an unlikely heroine, Maggie, a young girl with an indomitable spirit. Martin expertly portrays her as a beacon of hope amid the stark realities of poverty and despair. Through her unwavering determination, selflessness, and unwavering sense of justice, Maggie becomes the angelic figure that brings light and joy into the lives of those around her.

Rendered with evocative prose, Martin's vivid descriptions effortlessly transport readers into the gritty, grimy streets of the tenements. The author's attention to detail captivates, creating a tapestry of sights, sounds, and smells that fully engulfs the reader. This atmospheric writing style lends an aura of authenticity and vividness to the narrative, effectively immersing readers into the world of Maggie and her fellow tenants.

One of the most memorable aspects of the novel is the meticulous development of each character. From the hardened but kind-hearted police officer to the endearing ragamuffin children, Martin breathes life into each individual, making them relatable and unforgettable. The diverse array of personalities adds depth and complexity to the story, providing a multifaceted perspective on the struggles faced by the impoverished immigrants of the era.

Beyond its compelling characters and rich descriptions, "The Angel of the Tenement" explores profound themes of empathy, social injustices, and the strength of the human spirit in overcoming adversity. Martin tackles the complex issues of poverty, class divides, and discrimination with sensitivity and profundity, leaving readers with a profound sense of reflection and compassion.

However, while the novel excels in creating a compelling atmosphere and well-rounded characters, the pacing occasionally falters, particularly in the middle sections. There are instances where the narrative meanders, losing some of its initial momentum. Yet, Martin manages to recapture the reader's attention with the ever-present charm of Maggie's personality and her unwavering commitment to her community.

In sum, "The Angel of the Tenement" is a genuine gem in the realm of historical fiction. Through its powerful storytelling and thought-provoking themes, it breathes life into a bygone era, shedding light on the struggles of the less fortunate while celebrating the resilience of the human spirit. George Madden Martin's expertly crafted characters, evocative prose, and heartfelt narrative make this novel a worthwhile read for anyone seeking an inspiring tale of compassion, hope, and the transformative power of a single individual.

First Page:





New York Bonnell, Silver & Co. 1897

Copyright by Bonnell, Silver & Co., 1897.



I. The Advent of the Angel 1

II. The Entertainers of the Angel 16

III. Introduces the Little Major 26

IV. The Angel Becomes a Fairy 37

V. The Angel Rescues Mr. Tomlin 55

VI. The Major Superintends the Angel's Education 72

VII. Miss Ruth makes the Acquaintance of Old G. A. R. 90

VIII. The Angel meets an old Friend 99

IX. Mary Carew is Tempted 111

X. The Major Obeys Orders 122

XI. Tells of the Tenement's Christmas 125




The ladies of the Tenement felt that it was a matter concerning the reputation of the house. Therefore on this particular hot July morning they were gathered in the apartment of Miss Mary Carew and Miss Norma Bonkowski, if one small and dingy room may be so designated, and were putting the matter under discussion... Continue reading book >>

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