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Who Was She? From "The Atlantic Monthly" for September, 1874   By: (1825-1878)

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In his article featured in "The Atlantic Monthly" for September, 1874, notable author Bayard Taylor investigates the life and essence of a mysterious female figure in the book titled "Who Was She?" With eloquent prose and keen observation, Taylor delves into the enigmatic tale woven by an anonymous author, captivating readers with his insightful analysis.

Taylor begins by highlighting the intricate plot that tells the story of a woman overshadowed by secrecy, drawing readers into an intriguing labyrinth of mysteries. Without disclosing the book's title, he masterfully describes the plot as a tapestry of unexpected twists and turns, making it clear that the author skillfully keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

Delving deeper into the narrative, Taylor unravels the layers that define the enigmatic female lead, championing her complex characterization. Through his analysis, he elucidates how the unnamed author deftly displays the protagonist's strength, resilience, and vulnerability, making her a compelling and relatable figure to readers. Taylor acknowledges that the author's seamless portrayal captivates the essence of her character and ascribes her with a timeless quality that resonates with readers even beyond the book's pages.

Taylor's discerning eye for detail allows him to explore the book's myriad themes and motifs. Through his astute observations, he notes the presence of feminism and its delicate interplay in a society bound by conventions of the time. Furthermore, he praises the author's ability to create an immersive historical setting, transporting readers into a vividly depicted world where societal norms collide with individual aspirations.

While Taylor mostly remains positive throughout his review, he does not shy away from addressing the book's potential flaws. Although he acknowledges that the author skillfully maintains a certain level of suspense throughout the narrative, he laments on occasion where the pacing may falter slightly, leading to lulls in the otherwise engrossing tale. Nevertheless, he maintains that these minor missteps never undermine the book's overall impact.

With his consummate skill as an author, Taylor brings "Who Was She?" to life in his riveting article, enticing readers to explore the nameless woman's story for themselves. His captivating review encapsulates the essence of the book, assuring potential readers and literary enthusiasts that this tale will captivate and challenge their imagination. As a master wordsmith himself, Taylor's own admiration for the book becomes apparent, and in his review, he successfully enthralls readers with his contemplative analysis of this hidden gem.

First Page:


By Bayard Taylor

From "The Atlantic Monthly" for September, 1874

Come, now, there may as well be an end of this! Every time I meet your eyes squarely, I detect the question just slipping out of them. If you had spoken it, or even boldly looked it; if you had shown in your motions the least sign of a fussy or fidgety concern on my account; if this were not the evening of my birthday, and you the only friend who remembered it; if confession were not good for the soul, though harder than sin to some people, of whom I am one well, if all reasons were not at this instant converged into a focus, and burning me rather violently, in that region where the seat of emotion is supposed to lie, I should keep my trouble to myself.

Yes, I have fifty times had it on my mind to tell you the whole story. But who can be certain that his best friend will not smile or, what is worse, cherish a kind of charitable pity ever afterward when the external forms of a very serious kind of passion seem trivial, fantastic, foolish? And the worst of all is that the heroic part which I imagined I was playing proves to have been almost the reverse. The only comfort which I can find in my humiliation is that I am capable of feeling it. There isn't a bit of a paradox in this, as you will see; but I only mention it, now, to prepare you for, maybe, a little morbid sensitiveness of my moral nerves... Continue reading book >>

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