August 6, 2005

The Sacrifice of the Shannon by W. Albert Hickman

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell
Click above to see our family relationship


The Sacrifice of the Shannon
By W. Albert Hickman
2nd Edition, 1903
Frederick A. Stokes Company
New York, Publishers

On our latest tour of the Maritimes of Canada, my reading list included William Albert Hickman's The Sacrifice of the Shannon published 1903. The Hickman Family reunion in Dorchester, New Brunswick was drawing near, and I wanted to read the book to get a feel for the man, and the the places we were to see. My curiosity further piqued since William Albert Hickman and Nellie Davison were first cousins - two years apart in age - so they most surely knew each other.

Rarely am I so positively surprised! The book is a little gem and I recommend it to you without reservation.

This review by Cecily Devereux sums it up beautifully:

"W. Albert Hickman
"Another reason I want to tell you the story is that the girl is a wonder, a living wonder, and I know you'll be interested in her, though some women have expressed their interest in queer ways which were not always intended to be complementary. If you analyzed them you usually found that they were complementary if they were anything, no matter what they were intended to be. I've called the girl a wonder, because though if you take the average girl as your criterion she is far away from it, still, from a cool, unbiased, critical point of view, she is normal, - thoroughly normal. Kindly remember that "normal" is not "average." She's got a circulation that swings a crimson flush in under her sun-tanned cheeks. She walks like a tiger, and looks at a thing or a person, not for the effect of her eyes, but to see. Incidentally she gets the effect a thousand times better than if she tried for it."

And from p. 120

"The girl was ready when we arrived. She was dressed in a gray blanket snow-shoe suit faced with crimson, and her sweet, clear-cut features and sunbrowned brilliant colouring made her as lovely a picture as any man may see in this life. I have often sat in the old St. James, and in later years in the Carlton and the Savoy, and looked around at the crowd, especially the women. Heavens! what an exhibition it is for a man that loves sincerity and simplicity. If you had stripped the majority of those women - some who have been known as beauties for many seasons - of their dress, their jewels and their powder and paint, ripped their nets off, loosened their hair up a bit, dressed them as this girl was dressed, and compared them with her, how many would have stood the comparison. It makes me laugh now to think of the row of beauties as they'd show up in those blanket suits. And this girl was not only more beautiful than they, but she could talk better, perhaps sing better, and certainly do everything else in the wide world much better. She could beat the majority of them - perhaps all - at tennis, and some other things; if she had them in a boat race with her she'd frighten them into hysterics - most of them; her greatest pleasure was giving, theirs receiving; they were always blas Posted by jhowell at August 6, 2005 10:23 AM