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Mam' Lyddy's Recognition 1908   By: (1853-1922)

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In "Mam' Lyddy's Recognition 1908" by Thomas Nelson Page, readers are transported to the post-Civil War era in America's South. This powerful novel delves into themes of race, redemption, and the complexities of human relationships during a tumultuous time in history.

The story is centered around Mam' Lyddy, an elderly African American woman who has devoted her life to caring for the children of her former owners. Despite the cruelty of slavery and her own painful memories, she harbors an unwavering sense of loyalty and compassion towards the white family she served. Page paints a vivid picture of Mam' Lyddy's selflessness, displaying the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

The narrative takes a riveting turn when Mam' Lyddy's long-lost son, now a prominent lawyer in the North, returns home to confront his past. As the tension rises, the characters are forced to confront the harsh realities of a society deeply divided by racial prejudice and inequality. Page skillfully captures the raw emotions and complexities that arise as these characters grapple with their shared history and conflicting loyalties.

Page's writing style is both lyrical and poignant, allowing readers to easily empathize with the characters and immerse themselves in the world he creates. Through evocative descriptions and vivid dialogue, the author offers a rich and authentic portrayal of the South during this troubled time, exposing the deep-rooted scars left by slavery and the challenges faced by both black and white individuals striving for harmony.

Moreover, Page masterfully navigates the racial dynamics, offering a nuanced exploration of the complexities of human relationships amidst layered divisions. He highlights the importance of empathy, understanding, and reconciliation in overcoming the deep-seated prejudices that plague society.

As the story drives toward its climax, readers are left contemplating the power of forgiveness, redemption, and the potential for growth even in the most divided of societies. With every page, "Mam' Lyddy's Recognition 1908" serves as a reminder of the timeless lessons history has to offer, urging us to confront our own biases and work towards a more equitable and just society.

In conclusion, Thomas Nelson Page's "Mam' Lyddy's Recognition 1908" is an emotionally charged and thought-provoking novel that delves into the complexities of race and humanity during a defining period in American history. With its compelling characters, evocative prose, and powerful themes, this book is a must-read for those seeking a deeper understanding of our shared past and the continuing struggle for equality.

First Page:


By Thomas Nelson Page

Charles Scribner's Sons New York, 1908

Copyright, 1891, 1904, 1906


When Cabell Graeme was courting pretty Betty French up at the Château place, though he had many rivals and not a few obstacles to overcome, he had the good fortune to secure one valuable ally, whose friendship stood him in good stead. She was of a rich chocolate tint, with good features, and long hair, possibly inherited from some Arab ancestor, bead like black eyes, and a voice like a harp, but which on occasion could become a flame. Her figure was short and stocky; but more dignity was never compressed within the same number of cubic inches.

Mam' Lyddy had been in the French family all her life, as her mother and grandmother had been before her. She had rocked on her ample bosom the best part of three generations. And when Freedom came, however much she may have appreciated being free, she had much too high an estimate of the standing of the Frenches to descend to the level of the class she had always contemned as "free niggers." She was a deep dyed aristocrat.

The Frenches were generally esteemed to be among the oldest and best families in the county, and the Château plantation, with its wide fields and fine old mansion, was commonly reckoned one of the finest in that section... Continue reading book >>

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