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A Philanthropist   By: (1876-1961)

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A Philanthropist by Josephine Daskam Bacon is a remarkable novel that delves into the world of charitable giving and the complexities that come with it. Set in the early 20th century, the story follows the life of the titular protagonist, a wealthy woman named Katherine Wick, who is not only determined to make a difference in the world but also faces personal challenges along the way.

Bacon's writing style is both elegant and poignant, transporting readers to a time where societal norms clashed with individual desires. Through her vivid descriptions and beautifully crafted characters, the author skillfully paints a picture of the high society of New York, while simultaneously exploring the inner struggles and triumphs of Katherine.

One of the strengths of this novel is the way it tackles the theme of philanthropy with nuance and depth. Bacon doesn't simply depict Katherine as a wealthy woman who hands out money to the less fortunate; instead, she delves into the intricate decision-making process that goes into effective charitable giving. This adds a layer of authenticity to the story, as readers are able to witness the inner conflict and complex emotions that Katherine experiences when choosing whom to help and how.

Moreover, A Philanthropist delves into the personal growth and transformation of its characters. Katherine's journey is not just about her pursuit of philanthropy but also about her own self-discovery and understanding of her place in the world. As the plot unfolds, readers witness her evolving beliefs, her changing priorities, and her struggles with loneliness and finding meaning in her actions. This character development makes Katherine relatable and adds depth to the story, making it not only a novel about philanthropy but also a reflection on the human condition.

Additionally, Bacon's portrayal of the time period and social dynamics is impeccable. The story takes place during the women's suffrage movement, and Bacon effectively incorporates feminist themes into the narrative. Through Katherine and other female characters, the author explores the constraints and expectations placed upon women in a patriarchal society. This not only adds historical relevance to the story but also underscores the complexities faced by women in pursuing their passions and philanthropic endeavors.

However, despite the many strengths of A Philanthropist, the pacing of the novel can be slow at times. While Bacon's detailed descriptions add depth to the narrative, they occasionally tend to slow down the momentum of the story. Some readers may find themselves wishing for a more brisk pace, particularly during certain introspective moments.

In conclusion, A Philanthropist is an engaging and thought-provoking novel that delves into the world of charitable giving. By skillfully weaving together the personal and societal struggles faced by the protagonist, Josephine Daskam Bacon creates a compelling story that explores themes of personal growth, the complexities of philanthropy, and the role of women in a changing world. Despite occasional pacing issues, this novel leaves a lasting impression and serves as an important reflection on the power of giving back.

First Page:


By Josephine Daskam

Copyright, 1903, by Charles Scribner's Sons

"I suspected him from the first," said Miss Gould, with some irritation, to her lodger. She spoke with irritation because of the amused smile of the lodger. He bowed with the grace that characterized all his lazy movements.

"He looked very much like that Tom Waters that I had at the Reformed Drunkards' League last year. I even thought he was Tom "

"I do not know Tom?" hazarded the lodger.

"No. I don't know whether I ever mentioned him to you. He came twice to the League, and we were really quite hopeful about him, and the third time he asked to have the meeting at his house. We thought it a great sign the best of signs, in fact. So as a great favor we went there instead of meeting at the Rooms. I was a little late I lost the way and when I got there I heard a great noise as if they were singing different songs at the same time. I hurried in to lead them they get so mixed in the singing and it makes me blush now to think of it! the wretch had invited them all early, and and they were all intoxicated!

"I am sorry I told you," she added with dignity; for the lodger, in an endeavor to smile sympathetically, had lost his way and was convulsed with a mirth entirely unregretful.

"Not at all, not at all," he murmured politely... Continue reading book >>

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