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Pauline's Passion and Punishment

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By: (1832-1888)

Before she wrote Little Women and Little Men, Louisa, writing under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard, had this `blood and thunder' thriller (as she called them) published in 1863 by a weekly pulp magazine. This was during the period when Louisa worked a nurse during the American Civil war. The rigid and unfair roles of men and women of this period, their expectations and desires, plays a large in this story of betrayed love, anger, petulance, and ultimately, vengeance. The story is well written and plotted of course, being an Alcott story, so listeners can expect to enjoy a captivating and satisfying story read to them by one of the best and most highly polished readers around.

First Page:

PAULINE'S PASSION

and

PUNISHMENT

Chapter I

To and fro, like a wild creature in its cage, paced that handsome woman, with bent head, locked hands, and restless steps. Some mental storm, swift and sudden as a tempest of the tropics, had swept over her and left its marks behind. As if in anger at the beauty now proved powerless, all ornaments had been flung away, yet still it shone undimmed, and filled her with a passionate regret. A jewel glittered at her feet, leaving the lace rent to shreds on the indignant bosom that had worn it; the wreaths of hair that had crowned her with a woman's most womanly adornment fell disordered upon shoulders that gleamed the fairer for the scarlet of the pomegranate flowers clinging to the bright meshes that had imprisoned them an hour ago; and over the face, once so affluent in youthful bloom, a stern pallor had fallen like a blight, for pride was slowly conquering passion, and despair had murdered hope.

Pausing in her troubled march, she swept away the curtain swaying in the wind and looked out, as if imploring help from Nature, the great mother of us all... Continue reading book >>


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