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The Hand but Not the Heart or, The Life-Trials of Jessie Loring   By: (1809-1885)

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In Timothy S. Arthur's novel, "The Hand but Not the Heart or, The Life-Trials of Jessie Loring," readers are taken on an emotional journey through the life of its protagonist, Jessie Loring. Set in the mid-nineteenth century, the story explores the complexities of love, trust, and societal expectations in a rapidly changing world.

From the very beginning, Arthur establishes a strong and relatable heroine in Jessie Loring. As a young woman, she possesses a kind heart and unwavering integrity, making her instantly likable. The author skillfully presents her trials and tribulations, captivating readers with each turn of the page. It is through Jessie's experiences that we witness the power of temptation and the devastating consequences that can ensue from impulsive decisions.

Arthur's writing transports readers to the bustling streets of New York City and the tranquil countryside of upstate New York, painting vivid scenes that further enhance the narrative. His detailed descriptions bring the setting to life, immersing readers in the hustle and bustle of the city or the quiet serenity of nature. The stark contrast between these two environments reinforces the novel's themes of morality and the detrimental effects of a corrupt society.

Moreover, the novel addresses various social issues prevalent during the era. Arthur highlights the harsh realities faced by women, who were often forced to navigate a world where their value was determined solely by their marriage prospects. Jessie's struggles against societal expectations and pressures to conform create a sense of urgency and empathy within readers, reminding us of the limitations placed on women during that time.

One aspect of the novel that stands out is how Arthur develops the relationships between his characters. From Jessie's tumultuous love life to her complex relationships with friends and family, the emotional depth woven into each interaction is compelling. Through these relationships, the author explores the complexities of trust, highlighting the consequences of misplaced faith and the importance of honesty.

"The Hand but Not the Heart" can be seen as a cautionary tale that emphasizes the significance of leading an honorable life. Arthur offers a powerful moral lesson through Jessie Loring's story, reminding readers of the importance of making virtuous choices even in the face of overwhelming temptation.

Overall, Timothy S. Arthur's "The Hand but Not the Heart or, The Life-Trials of Jessie Loring" is a thought-provoking and engaging novel that delves into the trials and tribulations of its unforgettable protagonist. With its fascinating characters, compelling narrative, and exploration of societal issues, this book is a must-read for those who enjoy historical fiction and moral introspection.

First Page:









"PAUL!" The young man started, and a delicate flush mantled his handsome face, as he turned to the lady who had pronounced his name in a tone slightly indicative of surprise.

"Ah! Mrs. Denison," was his simple response.

"You seem unusually absent minded this evening," remarked the lady.

"Do I?"


"You have been observing me?"

"I could not help it; for every time my eyes have wandered in this direction, they encountered you, standing in the same position, and looking quite as much like a statue as a living man."

"How long is it since I first attracted your attention?" inquired the person thus addressed, assuming an indifference of manner which it was plain he did not feel.

"If I were to say half an hour, it would not be far wide of the truth."

"Oh, no! It can't be five minutes since I came to this part of the room," said the young man, whose name was Paul Hendrickson. He seemed a little annoyed.

"Not a second less than twenty minutes," replied the lady. "Your thoughts must have been very busy thus to have removed nearly all ideas of time."

"They were busy," was the simple reply. But the low tones were full of meaning... Continue reading book >>

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