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The Living Present   By: (1857-1948)

Book cover

First Page:

THE LIVING PRESENT

BY

GERTRUDE ATHERTON

NEW YORK FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY PUBLISHERS

[Illustration: THE MARQUISE D'ANDIGNÉ President Le Bien Être du Blessé]

TO

"ETERNAL FRANCE"

CONTENTS

BOOK I

FRENCH WOMEN IN WAR TIME

CHAPTER

I MADAME BALLI AND THE "COMFORT PACKAGE"

II THE SILENT ARMY

III THE MUNITION MAKERS

IV MADEMOISELLE JAVAL AND THE ÉCLOPÉS

V THE WOMAN'S OPPORTUNITY

VI MADAME PIERRE GOUJON

VII MADAME PIERRE GOUJON ( Continued )

VIII VALENTINE THOMPSON

IX MADAME WADDINGTON

X THE COUNTESS D'HAUSSONVILLE

XI THE MARQUISE D'ANDIGNÉ

XII MADAME CAMILLE LYON

XIII BRIEF ACCOUNTS OF GREAT WORK: THE DUCHESSE D'UZÈS; THE DUCHESSE DE ROHAN; COUNTESS GREFFULHE; MADAME PAQUIN; MADAME PAUL DUPUY

XIV ONE OF THE MOTHERLESS

XV THE MARRAINES

XVI PROBLEMS FOR THE FUTURE

BOOK II

FEMINISM IN PEACE AND WAR

CHAPTER

I THE THREAT OF THE MATRIARCHATE

II THE TRIUMPH OF MIDDLE AGE

III THE REAL VICTIMS OF "SOCIETY"

IV ONE SOLUTION OF A GREAT PROBLEM

V FOUR OF THE HIGHLY SPECIALIZED: MARIA DE BARRIL; ALICE BERTA JOSEPHINE KAUSER; BELLE DA COSTA GREENE; HONORÉ WILLSIE

ADDENDUM

ILLUSTRATIONS

The Marquise d'Andigné, President Le Bien Être du Blessé

Madame Balli, President Réconfort du Soldat

Delivering the Milk in Rheims

Making the Shells

Société L'Eclairage Electrique, Usine de Lyon

Where the Artists Dine for Fifty Centimes

A Railway Depot Cantine

Delivering the Post

BOOK I

FRENCHWOMEN IN WAR TIME

If this little book reads more like a memoir than a systematic study of conditions, my excuse is that I remained too long in France and was too much with the people whose work most interested me, to be capable, for a long while, at any rate, of writing a detached statistical account of their remarkable work.

In the first place, although it was my friend Owen Johnson who suggested this visit to France and personal investigation of the work of her women, I went with a certain enthusiasm, and the longer I remained the more enthusiastic I became. My idea in going was not to gratify my curiosity but to do what I could for the cause of France as well as for my own country by studying specifically the war time work of its women and to make them better known to the women of America.

The average American woman who never has traveled in Europe, or only as a flitting tourist, is firm in the belief that all Frenchwomen are permanently occupied with fashions or intrigue. If it is impossible to eradicate this impression, at least the new impression I hope to create by a recital at first hand of what a number of Frenchwomen (who are merely carefully selected types) are doing for their country in its present ordeal, should be all the deeper.

American women were not in the least astonished at the daily accounts which reached them through the medium of press and magazine of the magnificent war services of the British women. That was no more than was to have been expected. Were they not, then, Anglo Saxons, of our own blood, still closer to the fountain source of a nation that has, with whatever reluctance, risen to every crisis in her fate with a grim, stolid, capable tenacity that means the inevitable defeat of any nation so incredibly stupid as to defy her?

If word had come over that the British women were quite indifferent to the war, were idle and frivolous and insensible to the clarion voice of their indomitable country's needs, that, if you like, would have made a sensation. But knowing the race as they did and it is the only race of which the genuine American does know anything he, or she, accepted the leaping bill of Britain's indebtedness to her brave and easily expert women without comment, although, no doubt, with a glow of vicarious pride.

But quite otherwise with the women of France. In the first place there was little interest. They were, after all, foreigners... Continue reading book >>




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