The Damnation of Theron Ware

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Stone & Kimball, 1896 - American fiction - 512 pages
2 Reviews
This Faustian tale of the spiritual disintegration of a young minister, written in the 1890s, deals subtly and powerfully with the impact of science on innocence and the collective despair that marked the transition into the modern age. In its realism, "The Damnation of Theron Ware" foreshadows Howells; in its conscious imagery it prefigures Norris, Crane, Henry James, and the "symbolic realism" of the twentieth century. Its author, Harold Frederic, internationally famous as London correspondent for the "New York Times," wrote the novel two years before his death.

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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 49 - Doing what we know is not for the glory of God ; as, The putting on of gold and costly apparel. The taking such diversions as cannot be used in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Page 300 - Greek all of a sudden. He must work along up to it gradually." He remembered the music. "Oh, if I only knew how to tell you," he murmured ecstatically, "what a revelation your playing has been to me! I had never imagined anything like it. I shall think of it to my dying day." He began to remember as well the spirit that was in the air when the music ended. The details of what he had felt and said rose vaguely in his mind. Pondering them, his eye roved past Celia's white-robed figure to the broad,...
Page 256 - Did you ever see a play? — in a theatre, I mean. I supposed not. But you'll understand when I say that the performance looks one way from where the audience sit, and quite a different way when you are behind the scenes. There you see that the trees and houses are cloth, and the moon is tissue paper, and the flying fairy is a middle-aged woman strung up on a rope. That doesn't prove that the play, out in front, isn't beautiful and affecting, and all that. It only shows that everything in this world...
Page 191 - 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 199 - 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 416 - Ireland you got a strange mixture of elementary early peoples, walled off from the outer world by the four seas, and free to work out their own racial amalgam on their own lines. They brought with them 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 — our Celia is fuller of it than anybody else.
Page 51 - Brother Pierce!" suggested Winch, in a half-chuckling undertone. "Brother Pierce, then!" echoed Theron, impatiently. "The Quarterly Conference and the Estimating Committee deal with that. The trustees have no more to do with it than the man in the moon.
Page 67 - Doming, and Misereatur vestri omnipotens Deus, with its soft Continental vowels and liquid r's. It seemed to him that he had never really heard Latin before. Then the astonishing young woman with the red hair declaimed the Confiteor, vigorously and with a resonant distinctness of enunciation. It was a different Latin, harsher and more sonorous ; and while it still dominated the murmured undertone of the other's prayers, the last moment came. Theron had stood face to face with death at many other...
Page 66 - The door opened, and Theron saw the priest standing in the doorway with an uplifted hand. He wore now a surplice, with a purple band over his shoulders, and on his pale face there shone a tranquil and tender light. One of the workmen fetched from the stove a brand, lighted the two candles, and bore the table with its contents into the bedroom. The young woman plucked Theron's sleeve, and he dumbly followed her into the chamber of death, making one of the group of a dozen, headed by Mrs. MacEvoy and...
Page 67 - Paulum, — invoked with such proud confidence in this squalid little shanty, which so strangely affected him. He came out with the others at last, — the candles and the folded hands over the crucifix left behind, — and walked as one in a dream. Even by the time that he had gained the outer doorway, and stood blinking at the bright light and filling his lungs with honest air once more, it had begun to seem incredible to him that he had seen and done all this.

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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