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A Lost Hero   By: (1844-1911)

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A Lost Hero by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that delves into the complexities of heroism, sacrifice, and the societal expectations placed on men during the late 19th century. Set in a small New England town, the story follows the life of the protagonist, Dick Trafford, a young man burdened by the weight of familial obligations and the desire to meet societal expectations.

Phelps skillfully constructs a narrative that explores the limitations imposed on individuals by societal norms. Through Dick's character, the author cleverly portrays the pressures faced by men to conform to societal expectations, often sacrificing their own dreams and identities in the process. Dick's internal struggle between personal desires and obligations to his family provides the novel with a compelling emotional core, resonating with readers on a deep level.

The book also addresses the prevailing notion of heroism during that era. Phelps challenges the conventional idea of what it means to be a hero, questioning the traditional masculine ideals of strength, bravery, and self-sacrifice at the expense of personal happiness. She raises important questions about the consequences of sacrificing one's own aspirations for the sake of fulfilling others' expectations, highlighting the toll it takes on individual well-being.

The author's writing style is captivating and immersive, transporting readers to the quaint town of Elbowborough. Phelps' vivid descriptions and keen attention to detail breathe life into the setting, making it feel tangible and evoking a sense of nostalgia. The characters are well-developed and relatable, each with their own struggles and aspirations. Their interpersonal dynamics and conflicts drive the narrative forward, keeping readers engrossed throughout.

While the pacing of the story may initially seem slow, it gradually builds momentum, leading to a satisfying and thought-provoking conclusion. Phelps skillfully weaves multiple storylines together, seamlessly connecting various subplots to create a cohesive narrative. This multifaceted approach adds depth and complexity to the story, allowing readers to delve into multiple perspectives and thematic threads.

Although the novel was published in the late 19th century, its themes and messages are still relevant today. The exploration of societal expectations, the sacrifices made for the sake of others, and the redefining of heroism are universal themes that resonate with readers across time. The issues raised in the book prompt readers to reflect on their own lives and the choices they make, challenging conventional notions of success, happiness, and fulfillment.

A Lost Hero is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that tackles themes far beyond its time. Elizabeth Stuart Phelps crafts a compelling story that continues to resonate with readers, offering a poignant exploration of societal expectations, sacrifice, and the search for personal identity. This timeless piece of literature is a worthwhile read for those seeking a book that explores complex human emotions, societal norms, and the true meaning of heroism.

First Page:

A LOST HERO

[Illustration: A LOST HERO.]

A LOST HERO

by

ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS WARD and HERBERT D. WARD

Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill

Boston Roberts Brothers 1893

Copyright, 1891, by Roberts Brothers.

University Press:

John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U.S.A.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE A LOST HERO Frontispiece THE EXPRESS FROM COLUMBIA 11 THE ENTERPRISE OF THE SUMMERVILLE MERCHANT 12 IN THE GROUP AT THE STATION STOOD A WHITE BOY 13 THE BOY TESTED THE HALTER, AND PATTED THE HORSE 15 STRAY GOATS AND MULES GAZED EXPECTANTLY 17 AN OLD NEGRO CAME UP 19 HE PLODDED SLOWLY UP THE TRACK 21 SNAPPED HIS HALTER, AND BROKE AWAY 23 HE GOT DOWN ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES AND CRAWLED 24 BIRDS SEEMED TO SING THROUGH THE AIR 25 HAD THE END OF THE WORLD COME? 27 THEY RAN 31 THE PAUPER DOG ... Continue reading book >>




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