The Uncollected Stories of Mary Wilkins Freeman

Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman, Author University Press of Mississippi $45 (332p) ISBN 978-0-87805-564-7
When Freeman died in 1930 she left a large literary legacy, including almost 100 uncollected stories. Twenty of them appear here, along with an informative introduction by Reichardt, who teaches English at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. The stories give a sense of Freeman's blossoming talent as her writing evolves from simple physical descriptions of turn-of-the-century New England and its inhabitants to deeper psychological inquiry. Freeman often conjured up rebellious female characters as well as submissive or sacrificial Victorian women. In short, she presented a catalogue of the possibilities for women of the era. In one tale, young Emmy, who ``ain't one of the kind that young fellers take to,'' p. 7 stifles her own love and aids the woman who has stolen her suitor by urging her to stop him from sailing in dangerous weather. The constraints placed upon women of the period are evident when stories of strong-willed women suddenly end with facile morals. When the dreamy Diantha shares with her fiance the fantasies inspired by her prism, he scoffs, and finally she accedes. ``Whether or not she had sold her birthright,'' Freeman concludes, ``she had got her full measure of the pottage of love. . . . '' (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-585-16265-2
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