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Olive

Olive by Dinah Maria Craik
By: (1826-1887)

Inspired by Jane Eyre, Dinah Maria Craik's 1850 novel, Olive, was one of the first to feature a disabled central character. 'Slightly deformed' from birth, Olive believes that she will never be able to marry like other women, so she devotes her life to her art, her mother, and above all, her religion. It takes a dark secret from the past and a new, fascinating acquaintance, to make her realize what her life could be.

First Page:

OLIVE

A NOVEL

BY DINAH MARIA CRAIK, AKA: Dinah Maria Mulock

"BY THE AUTHOR OF 'JOHN HALIFAX, GENTLEMAN'"

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY G. BOWERS

1875

FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1850.

[Illustration: Frontispiece]

[Illustration: Titlepage]

OLIVE.

CHAPTER I.

"Puir wee lassie, ye hae a waesome welcome to a waesome warld!"

Such was the first greeting ever received by my heroine, Olive Rothesay. However, she would be then entitled neither a heroine nor even "Olive Rothesay," being a small nameless concretion of humanity, in colour and consistency strongly resembling the "red earth," whence was taken the father of all nations. No foreshadowing of the coming life brightened her purple, pinched up, withered face, which, as in all new born children, bore such a ridiculous likeness to extreme old age. No tone of the all expressive human voice thrilled through the unconscious wail that was her first utterance, and in her wide open meaningless eyes had never dawned the beautiful human soul. There she lay, as you and I, reader, with all our compeers, lay once a helpless lump of breathing flesh, faintly stirred by animal life, and scarce at all by that inner life which we call spirit... Continue reading book >>


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