"the blessed fruits of religion and discipline . . ."

Published at the end of 1850, The Wide, Wide World by Susan Warner went through fourteen editions in two years, and may ultimately have been as popular as Uncle Tom's Cabin with 19th century American readers. The novel's central character, Ellen Montgomery, is about the same age as Little Eva, but her story resembles Uncle Tom's. At its beginning she is driven by circumstance from her home and mother. In the course of her pilgrimage through the wide world, she learns to submit her will, and so through suffering she is made pure. She is not so much moving upward to heaven, though, as toward the status of refined Christian lady. Unlike Tom's, her story doesn't end with death, but on the verge of adulthood and marriage. The five chapters included here are among the many that focus on her loss of home and her education through exile and suffering.

[text:] The Wide, Wide World, by "Elizabeth Wetherell" [pseud. for Susan Warner] (New York: George P. Putnam, 1851)
[illustrations from:] The Wide, Wide World . . . New Edition, illustrated by Frederick Dielman (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1892)

Ellen with Mamma as Angel

  • I. Breaking the News
  • II. Gives Sorrow to the Winds
  • III. The Worth of a Finger-Ring
  • IV. The Bitter-Sweet of Life
  • V. A Peep into the Wide World
  • VI. Night and Morning
  • VII. "Strangers Walk as Friends"
  • VIII. Leaves Us in the Street
  • IX. The Little Queen in the Arm-Chair
  • X. Mud -- And What Came of It
  • XI. Running Away with the Brook
  • XII. Splitters
  • XIII. Hope Deferred
  • XIV. Work Not Deferred
  • XV. Mother Earth Rather than Aunt Fortune
  • XVI. Counsel, Cakes, and Captain Perry
  • XVII. Difficulty of Doing Right
  • XVIII. Loses Care on the Cat's Back
  • XIX. Showing that in Some Circumstances White is Black
  • XX. Headsick and Heartsick
  • XXI. Footsteps of Angels
  • XXII. Shows How Mr. Van Brunt Could Be Sharp upon Some Things
  • XXIII. How Miss Fortune Went Out and Pleasure Came In
  • XXIV. Sweeping and Dusting
  • XXV. Showing What a Noise a Bee Can Make When It Gets into the House
  • XXVI. Sundry Things Round a Pot of Chocolate
  • XXVII. The Jingling of Sleigh-Bells
  • XXVIII. Scraps -- or Morocco and Talk
  • XXIX. Stockings, to Which the "Bas Bleu" Was Nothing
  • XXX. Sunday at Ventnor
  • XXXI. Flowers and Thorns
  • XXXII. The Bank-Note and George Washington
  • XXXIII. A Gathering Cloud in the Spring Weather
  • XXXIV. The Cloud Overhead
  • XXXV. This "Working-Day World"
  • XXXVI. The Brownie
  • XXXVII. Timothy and His Master
  • XXXVIII. Wherein the Black Prince Arrives Opportunely
  • XXXIX. Halcyon Days
  • XL. "Prodigious!"
  • XLI. "The Clouds Return After the Rain"
  • XLII. One Less in the Wide, Wide World
  • XLIII. Those That Were Left
  • XLIV. The Little Spirit That Haunted the Big House
  • XLV. The Guardian Angel
  • XLVI. "Something Turns Up"
  • XLVII. The Wide World Grows Wider
  • XLVIII. How Old Friends Were Invested with the Regalia
  • XLIX. Thought is Free
  • L. Trials Without
  • LI. Trials Within
  • LII. "Thou!"

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