THIS BOOK, First published anonymously, March 1880, and soon in various unauthorized editions. It wasn't until the 1925 edition that Adams was listed as author. Henry Adams remarked (ironically as usual), "The wholesale piracy of Democracy was the single real triumph of my life."-it was very popular, as readers tried to guess who the author was and who the characters really were. ON the first of December, Mrs. Lee took the train for Washington, and before five o'clock that evening she was entering her newly hired house on ...
THIS BOOK, First published anonymously, March 1880, and soon in various unauthorized editions. It wasn't until the 1925 edition that Adams was listed as author. Henry Adams remarked (ironically as usual), "The wholesale piracy of Democracy was the single real triumph of my life."-it was very popular, as readers tried to guess who the author was and who the characters really were. ON the first of December, Mrs. Lee took the train for Washington, and before five o'clock that evening she was entering her newly hired house on Lafayette Square. She shrugged her shoulders with a mingled expression of contempt and grief at the curious barbarism of the curtains and the wall-papers, and her next two days were occupied with a life-and-death struggle to get the mastery over her surroundings. In this awful contest the interior of the doomed house suffered as though a demon were in it; not a chair, not a mirror, not a carpet, was left untouched, and in the midst of the worst confusion the new mistress sat, calm as the statue of Andrew Jackson in the square under her eyes, and issued her orders with as much decision as that hero had ever shown. Towards the close of the second day, victory crowned her forehead. A new era, a nobler conception of duty and existence, had dawned upon that benighted and heathen residence. The wealth of Syria and Persia was poured out upon the melancholy Wilton carpets; embroidered comets and woven gold from Japan and Teheran depended from and covered over every sad stuff-curtain; a strange medley of sketches, paintings, fans, embroideries, and porcelain was hung, nailed, pinned, or stuck against the wall; finally the domestic altarpiece, the mystical Corot landscape, was hoisted to its place over the parlour fire, and then all was over. The setting sun streamed softly in at the windows, and peace reigned in that redeemed house and in the heart of its mistress. "I think it will do now, Sybil," said she, surveying the scene.
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Adam's novel is an interesting and engaging read. His unflattering portrayal of politics in Washington causes one to take a more critical appraisal of one's ideas of democracy. Though set in the time just after the Civil War, this novel contains almost as much insight into today's politics and the essence of statesmanship.
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