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Captivity, Childbirth, and the Civil War in Harriet Prescott Spofford’s ” Circumstance”. Theresa Strouth Gaul. Texas Christian University. Harriet Prescott Spofford’s. Spofford, Harriet. “Circumstance.” The Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century Women’s Writings. Ed. Glynis Carr. Online. Internet. Posted: Winter Circumstance has 10 ratings and 0 reviews. Harriet Prescott Spofford was a regular contributor of short stories to the well known journal, The.

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At a Circumatance meal: She attended the Putnam Free School in Newburyport, Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford April 3, — August 14, was a notable American writer remembered hxrriet her novels, poems and detective stories. The father carries the child hushed again into slumber, the mother follows with no such feeble step as might be anticipated.

Through the little copse she walked slowly, with her cloak folded about her, lingering to imbibe the sense of shelter, the sunset filtered in purple through the mist of woven spray and twig, the companionship of growth not sufficiently dense to band against her, the sweet home-feeling of a young and tender wintry wood. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


And thus she trapped in the world of journalism similar to the protagonist who has no choice but to please the Devil in order to stay alive.

For its time, Circumstance is revolutionary, and an example of the beginnings of feminist thought in America.

The protagonist and her husband both experience nature in an entirely different way, while they both conquer nature they do it in entirely different ways. A thrill of joy pierced and shivered through her like a weapon, her voice trembled in its course, her glance lost its steady strength, fever-flushes chased each other over her face, yet she never once ceased chanting.

She became a welcome contributor to the chief periodicals of the United States, both of prose and poetry.

Feminism in Circumstance | My handle on life was broken, but I fixed it

She called upon her husband. The title story of her first collection, “The Amber Gods,” presented one such pair: Matilda rated it really liked it Sep presott, Never ceasing in the rhythm of her thoughts, articulated in music as they thronged, the memory of her first communion flashed over her.


A Spofford Poppy did not appear untilbut the years between and were filled with other writings. Her first book was a romance called Spofflrd Rohan’s Ghostbut Spofford’s short stories would soon outweigh her other writings in lasting importance. I think that the moment following must have been too sacred for us, and perhaps the three have no special interest again till they issue from the shadows of the wilderness upon the white hills that skirt their home.

Project MUSE – “Circumstance” in

Views Haarriet Edit View history. Once a half-whine of enjoyment escaped him,–he fawned his fearful head upon her; once he scored her cheek with his tongue: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebookeds. Open Preview See a Problem? Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.

It is almost surprising that he did not miss when the Indian Devil attempted to escape with his wife, but perhaps Harriet Spofford felt that the death of the woman would not be in keeping with the tone of the story. On the other end of the spectrum is the strong, cold man who brutishly subdues nature.

All this struck her in one, and made a sob of her breath, and she ceased. For their part, the two male characters are not portrayed in a positive light. Caroline rated it liked it Dec 14, It was neither prayer nor petition. But finally the level rays, reddening the snow, threw their gleam upon the lrescott, and, hastily donning cloak and hood, she bade her friends farewell and sallied forth on her return. In her study of Spofford, Elizabeth K.

As the beast continues to attack and subdue her, she begins to come to terms with her life and her religion. It is pervasive throughout Circumstance, and is the overriding theme with which Harriet Spofford deals. Spofford expresses the sisterhood of women in fircumstance final collection in a story called “A Village Dressmaker. An unnamed woman travels back to her home after caring for an ill neighbor in Maine and notices a white apparition floating in the air that sighed, ” The Lord have mercy on the people!


There are no discussion topics on this book yet. He dared not fire, lest some wound not mortal should break the spell exercised by her voice, and the beast, enraged with pain, should rend her in atoms; moreover, the light was too uncertain for his aim. Spofford always finds the vermilion and azure threads woven into the duns and grays hsrriet the New England life and women she knew so well. Walking rapidly now, and with her eyes wide-open, she distinctly saw in the air before her what was not there a moment ago, a winding-sheet,–cold, white, and ghastly, waved by the likeness of four wan hands,–that rose with a long inflation, and fell in rigid folds, while a voice, shaping itself from the hollowness above, spectral and melancholy, sighed,– “The Lord have mercy on the people!

Circumstance (short story)

It seemed to her that she had but one friend in the world; that was he; and again the cry, loud, clear, prolonged, echoed through the woods. It must have been the echo, most musical, most resonant, repeated and yet repeated, dying with long sighs of sweet sound, vibrated from rock to river and back again from depth circumstancd depth of cave and cliff.

Harriet Spofford immediately establishes the protagonist as a strong, independent woman. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources prescoyt collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.