Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Martha By-The-Day  -  1912
Julie M. Lippmann
136 pages
genre  -  Romance
my rating  -  4 out of 5 stars

"Claire Lang had been standing in the drenching wet at the street-crossing for fully ten minutes.  The badgering crowd had been shouldering her one way, pushing her the other..."  Suddenly Claire finds herself out in the street and then, just as suddenly ..."she was back again in her old place on the curbstone."

Claire was rescued by Martha Slawson.  Martha is a "...woman of masculine proportions, towering, deep-chested, large-limbed, but with a face which belied all these..." 

The above picture is what Google eBook uses for their cover. 

Martha has an interesting philosophy:  "I don't believe in lyin' awake, thinkin' about the future, when a body can put in good licks o' sleep, restin' from the past.  It's against my principles.  I'm by the day.  I work by the day, an' I live by the day."

The book is about Martha and how she manages to care for the people around her; her husband, children, mother-in-law, the other tenants in her apartment building, and especially her new young friend, Claire. 

My favorite line in the book?  Martha says to her husband:  "I wisht you'd be good to yourself an' have a shave.  Them prickles o' beard reminds me o' the insides o' Mrs. Sherman's big music box.  I wonder what tune you'd play if I run your chin in."

About the author  - 

Julie Mathilde Lippman (1864-1952) was an author of novels and plays and was a political activist. Best known for her novel Martha-By-The-Day, which she successfully adapted to the stage in 1919, Lippman came to know Louisa May Alcott while still a teenager, and later became friends with Mark Twain, Charles Dudley Warner, actor and playwright William Gillette, and other writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Lippmann was a fervent supporter of Theodore Roosevelt, took part in the womens' suffrage movement, and also wrote propaganda for the Allied cause during the First World War.

After many years of residence in New York City Lippman moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of eighty-five, to live with her niece, and died in that city three years later.

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