Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Damnation of Theron Ware

Book cover
By: (1856-1898)

The Damnation of Theron Ware (published in England as Illumination) is an 1896 novel by American author Harold Frederic. It is widely considered a classic of American realism. The novel reveals a great deal about turn-of-the-century provincial America, religious life, and the depressed state of intellectual and artistic culture in small towns.

The novel centers on the life of a Methodist pastor named Theron Ware who has recently moved to a fictional small town in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, which Frederic modeled after Utica, New York. A promising young pastor recently married, Theron has a number of experiences that cause him to begin to question the Methodist religion, his role as a priest and even the very existence of God. His moral decline (or illumination) is heightened through his dealings with Father Forbes, the town's Catholic priest; Dr. Ledsmar, a local atheist, philosopher, and man of science; and Celia, a local Irish Catholic girl, a species of aesthete, with whom Theron becomes hopelessly infatuated.

First Page:


by Harold Frederic



No such throng had ever before been seen in the building during all its eight years of existence. People were wedged together most uncomfortably upon the seats; they stood packed in the aisles and overflowed the galleries; at the back, in the shadows underneath these galleries, they formed broad, dense masses about the doors, through which it would be hopeless to attempt a passage.

The light, given out from numerous tin lined circles of flaring gas jets arranged on the ceiling, fell full upon a thousand uplifted faces some framed in bonnets or juvenile curls, others bearded or crowned with shining baldness but all alike under the spell of a dominant emotion which held features in abstracted suspense and focussed every eye upon a common objective point.

The excitement of expectancy reigned upon each row of countenances, was visible in every attitude nay, seemed a part of the close, overheated atmosphere itself.

An observer, looking over these compact lines of faces and noting the uniform concentration of eagerness they exhibited, might have guessed that they were watching for either the jury's verdict in some peculiarly absorbing criminal trial, or the announcement of the lucky numbers in a great lottery... Continue reading book >>

Stream audiobook and download chapters

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books