Wealhtheow's Reviews > The Dawn of a To-Morrow

The Dawn of a To-Morrow by Frances Hodgson Burnett
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Jun 24, 08

bookshelves: historical
Read in June, 2008

This is an awful, heavy-handed, maudlin novella about a rich man who is saved from suicide by the pure, childlike faith of poor women. But amidst the sexism and classism and Faith In Jesus Solves Everything-ism, there lies Burnett's understanding of the evils of poverty. There is also a great little scene buried underneath dialect:

'"If you could do what you liked," he said, "what would you like to do?"
Her chuckle became an outright laugh.
"If I 'ad ten pounds?" she asked, evidently prepared to adjust herself in imagination to any form of unlooked-for good luck.
"If you had more?"
"If I 'ad a wand like the one Jem told me was in the pantermine?"
"Yes," he answered.
She sat and stared at the fire a few moments, and then began to speak in a low luxuriating voice.
"I'd get a better room," she said, revelling. "There's one in the next 'ouse. I'd 'ave a few sticks o' furnisher in it—a bed an' a chair or two. I'd get some warm petticuts an' a shawl an' a 'at—with a ostrich feather in it. Polly an' me'd live together. We'd 'ave fire an' grub every day, I'd get drunken Bet's biby put in an 'ome. I'd 'elp the women when they 'ad to lie up. I'd—I'd 'elp 'im a bit," with a jerk of her elbow toward the thief. "If 'e was kept fed p'r'aps 'e could work out that thing in 'is 'ead. I'd go round the court an' 'elp them with 'usbands that knocks 'em about. I'd—I'd put a stop to the knockin' about," a queer fixed look showing itself in her eyes. "If I 'ad money I could do it. 'Ow much," with sudden prudence, "could a body 'ave—with one o' them wands?"'
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