Reference > The Library > Helen Rex Keller > Reader’s Digest of Books

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
One Summer
Blanche Willis Howard (1847–1898)
One Summer, by Blanche Willis Howard (1875). This light but refreshingly humorous little romance opens with the quasi-pathetic picture of Miss Laura Leigh Doane, a city girl, imprisoned by the rain in a New England farm-house, and suffering from loneliness and ennui. “I would like to be a man,” she cries, “just long enough to run down to Pratt’s for that book; but no longer, oh no, not a moment longer!” Unable to bear the dullness, she finally ventures alone on this errand; and in the dark, while charging against the wind around a corner, runs into Philip Ogden, and thrusts the ferule of her umbrella stick into his eye. She leads him home; and he (assuming that she is a girl of humble station) hands her two dollars. Chagrined, she demurely takes this punishment, having learned that he is an old chum of her brother’s, also spending his vacation here,—but she resolves never to forgive him. Many scenes of pleasant comedy ensue, both before and after the arrival of her brother Tom, with his wife and the baby; the romantic Bessie, at what she regards as critical moments, tragically warns her droll but marplot husband against spoiling it all. A charming description of a yachting trip to Mt. Desert is introduced; the “log” of which is said to have been furnished by another hand. The finale is in exact accordance with poetic justice: Miss Laura and Philip become engaged. The story, after a time, attained wide popularity in consequence of its breezy situations, sparkling conversations, and bright descriptions, and has been republished with illustrations.  1

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