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Two Festivals   By: (1787-1860)

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Two Festivals is a captivating collection of short stories written by Eliza Lee Cabot Follen. The book explores the celebrations of Christmas and New Year's, diving into the essence of these two festive occasions. Follen beautifully captures the spirit of these festivals through vibrant characters, vivid descriptions, and heartfelt emotions, making it a delightful read for all.

The author's writing style is eloquent and effortlessly transports readers into the heart of each celebration. Follen expertly captures the essence of Christmas by crafting heartwarming tales that embody the joy, love, and hope that the holiday season brings. From a charming story about a mischievous young boy's encounter with Santa Claus to a beautifully touching narrative about the power of forgiveness and the true meaning of Christmas, Follen's stories are a true delight to read.

Similarly, Follen's portrayal of New Year's celebrations is equally captivating. Through her stories, she explores the symbolism of new beginnings and the introspection that accompanies the transition into a new year. The characters she introduces are genuine and relatable, facing their own challenges and aspirations as they prepare for the year ahead. Follen's ability to capture the excitement, anticipation, and reflection that epitomize New Year's Eve is truly commendable.

One of the strengths of Two Festivals lies in Follen's portrayal of the human experience. She skillfully weaves together themes of family, friendship, love, and personal growth throughout her stories, making them resonate on a deeper level. The characters are wonderfully developed, each unique in their struggles, joys, and journeys. As readers, we become emotionally invested in their stories, rooting for their successes and empathizing with their challenges.

Furthermore, Follen's storytelling is rich in detail, immersing readers into the settings and traditions surrounding each festival. From the cozy warmth of festive households to the bustling energy of bustling city streets, the author's descriptions breathe life into her narratives, making the readers feel like participants in the celebrations themselves.

However, there are instances where the pacing of the stories could be improved. Some tales felt rushed, leaving readers craving more development and resolution. Additionally, while Follen adeptly captures the magic and spirit of the festivals, a few of the stories lacked a unique twist or unexpected element, making them less memorable compared to the standout pieces in the collection.

In conclusion, Two Festivals by Eliza Lee Cabot Follen is a charming and heartfelt collection of stories that beautifully capture the essence of both Christmas and New Year's celebrations. Follen's skillful writing effectively engages readers, transporting them into the festive world she expertly creates. While a few stories may lack depth and surprise, the overall collection is a delightful read that will leave readers feeling warm, hopeful, and in the spirit of the festivities.

First Page:




With Illustrations by Billings and others




It is the evening before the first of May, and the boys are looking forward to a May day festival with the children in the neighborhood. Mrs. Chilton read aloud these beautiful lines of Milton:

Now the bright morning star, Day's harbinger, Comes dancing from the east, and loads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose. Hail beauteous May that dost inspire Mirth, and youth, and warm desire; Woods and groves arc of thy dressing, Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and with thee long.

"How beautiful!" said Frank and Harry. "Suppose, Mother," said Harry, "it should rain, and hail, and snow to morrow, for it looks like it now, and then you know we cannot go into the woods and gather flowers; and all our plans will be spoiled." "Why, then, my dear, we must enjoy May morning as the great poet did, after he lost his sight, with our mind's eye; and you must bear your disappointment patiently." "Easier said than done, Mother," said Harry... Continue reading book >>

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