The Damnation of Theron Ware: Or, Illumination

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Stone & Kimball, 1896 - Belief and doubt - 512 pages
2 Reviews
Published in 1896, "The Damnation of Theron Ware or Illumination" is a profound psychological portrait of the spiritual undoing of a guileless Methodist minister who is taken in by a rural townspeople's various progressive ideas, from liberalism to bohemianism, only to be spurned by them for being too conventional. Described by Everett Carter as "among the four or five best novels written by an American during the nineteenth century," the novel, as Joyce Carol Oates writes in her Introduction, has "shrewd, disturbing insights into the human pysche." This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the text of the authoritative Harold Frederic Edition.

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User Review  - sixwoolsocks - LibraryThing

I read this book in a 19th C. American lit class & I wasn't too impressed by it. Harold Frederic does write some good short stories, but this book was pretty dull. Read full review

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User Review  - Stbalbach - LibraryThing

Illumination (1896) has been an underground classic among serious writers and readers since its publication. Although it sold well in its day, it was largely lost to mainstream attention for most of ... Read full review

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Page 448 - And do you think he'll always be a — a backslider?" mourned Alice. " For mercy's sake, don't ever try to have him pretend to be anything else !" exclaimed the other. "The last state of that man would be worse than the first.
Page 149 - By doing good, especially to them that are of the household of faith, or groaning so to be ; employing them preferably to others, buying one of another, helping each other in business ; and so much the more, because the world will love its own, and them only. By all possible diligence and frugality, that the gospel be not blamed.
Page 247 - I want to be a Greek myself, if you're one. I want to get as close to you — to your ideal, that is, as I can.
Page 40 - Keppler's cartoons, and out of these sprang into the vague upper gloom—on the one side, lamp-posts from which negroes hung by the neck, and on the other gibbets for dynamiters and Molly Maguires, and between the two glowed a spectral picture of some black-robed tonsured men, with leering satanic masks, making a bonfire of the Bible in the public schools.
Page 15 - Besides your houserent, you get $800 free an' clear, — that is $15.38 every week, an' only you an' your wife to keep out of it. Why, when I was your age, young man, and after that too, I was glad to get $6 a week." " I don't think my salary is under discussion, Mr. Pierce—" " Brother Pierce ! " suggested Winch, in a halfchuckling undertone. " Brother Pierce, then ! " echoed Theron, impatiently. "The Quarterly Conference and the Estimating Committee deal with that. The trustees have no more to...
Page 305 - Though there seem to have been the most tremendous changes in races and civilizations and religions, stretching over many thousands of years, yet nothing is in fact altered very much. Where religions are concerned, the human race are still very like savages in a dangerous wood in the dark, telling one another ghost stories around a camp-fire. They have always been like that.
Page 361 - ... at the outset a great inheritance of Eastern mysticism. Others lost it, but the Irish, all alone on their island, kept it alive and brooded on it, and rooted their whole spiritual side in it. Their religion is full of it ; their blood is full of it. ... The Ireland of two thousand years ago is incarnated in her. They are the merriest people and the saddest, the most turbulent and the most docile, the most talented and the most unproductive, the most practical and the most visionary, the most...
Page 156 - Is your mind well furnished? " Theron had the sensation of having been invited to become a citizen of this world. The thought so dazzled him that his impulses were dragging him forward to take the new oath of allegiance before he had had time to reflect upon what it was he was abandoning.
Page 10 - Every time the price of stone went up, every man of 'em would jine to screw more wages out o' me. Why, they used to keep account o' the amount o" business I done, an' figger up my profits, an' have the face to come an' talk to me about 'em, as if that had anything to do with wages. It's my belief their priests put 'em up to it. People don't begin to reelize — that church of idolatry '11 be the ruin o' this country, if it ain't checked in time.
Page 423 - What you took to be improvement was degeneration. When you thought that you were impressing us most by your smart sayings and doings, you were reminding us most of the fable about the donkey trying to play lap-dog.

About the author (1896)

Journalist and author Harold Frederic was born in Utica, New York on August 19, 1856. He decided to become a journalist and was editor of the Albany Evening Journal by 1882. In 1884, he became a London correspondent for the New York Times. He covered the cholera epidemic in France and Italy and went to Russia to investigate the persecution of the Jews. Besides working as a journalist, he wrote numerous novels that dealt with such topics as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, New York state, and English life. The Damnation of Theron Ware or Illumination, about the decline and fall of a Methodist minister, was his most famous work. He died in England on October 19, 1898 following a summer of illness that ended with a stroke. After his death, his mistress Kate Lyon and Athalie Mills, were arrested and charged with manslaughter for trying to heal him through faith instead of calling for a doctor. They were later acquitted.

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