March 8, 1851

Grace Aguilar (1816 - 1847)

Grace Aguilar
(1816 – 1847)

/51

March 8th Sat.  This has been a very stormy day,  Windy & snowy.

Orinthia did not keep school and we have had

a nice quiet time.  I have finished putting the 

bosom & wristbands into Franks shirt and worked

some on a coarse shirt.  Orinthia finished a 

coarse shirt that she has been making & commenced 

another for one of the boys.  I have finished reading

Womans Friendship & like it pretty well.

Woman’s Friendship was a domestic novel by English author Grace Aguilar.  In her short life,  Aguilar wrote not only novels, but also poetry, histories, and  religious treatises that explored her Jewish heritage.  Among the latter, she translated “The Spirit of Judaism” from the French, and wrote her own extensive exploration of the scriptures, “The Jewish Faith: Its Spiritual Consolation, Moral Guidance and Immortal Hope.”  She was prolific and extremely bright.

Her domestic novels – the kind of writing that Old Oliver called “love trash” – were her most successful publications. Such novels were a literary genre, not unlike today’s “chick lit,” that was written for, and often by, women.  The novels usually had storylines that featured the travails of young heroines.  Woman’s Friendship, published posthumously, was the tale of one such young woman who suffers many misfortunes and reversals but manages to save her family after her father’s early death and her brother’s losing fight with consumption, all the while retaining the lifelong friendship of a countess. Putting the improbabilities of its plot aside, Evelina liked it. As she sewed today with Orinthia Foss, Evelina may even have had the story from the book in her head.  She certainly liked the book well enough to eventually commence another novel by Miss Aguilar.

It was Saturday, the day that Oakes Ames usually went into Boston.  Did he go today, or did the weather make traveling too difficult?   Were they all getting tired of winter?

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