Mothers and Children

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W. Collins, 1918 - 166 pages
These 14 brief, contrasting vignettes, which each stand alone and deal with one mother and her child, provide glimpses of a huge range of mother-child relationships. Most extol the passion, depth and fulfilment of maternal love, which is likened in some tales to divine love, even protecting a child from beyond the grave (EILEEN). Some mothers invest all ambition in their offspring (ARTHUR). Some stories describe tragedies – MARGUERITE turns out ‘a dumbie’, longed-for PHI-PHI is an ‘idiot’, clever GERALD has a serious accident at Eton, BOBBY dies aged 4, devastating his mother, idolised CHARLIE becomes delinquent and ruins the family (though retaining his mother’s adoration). DOUGLAS’s adoptive mother cannot love him as his own mother still does. Some children return this devotion - GERALD comforts his anguished mother after his accident, MAUD gives up married love to care for her blind mother. NORMAN’s mother, fleeing a drunken, murderous husband, is redeemed and comforted by her son. Other mothers, like DERRICK’s, hate their children, with reciprocal dislike. GLADYS, spoiled by her mother, grows up selfish and arrogant. JANEY’s mother despises husband and child, and Janey dreams of her absent father.

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Page 21 - I HAD a little daughter, And she was given to me To lead me gently backward To ,the Heavenly Father's knee, That I, by the force of nature, Might in some dim wise divine The depth of his infinite patience To this wayward soul of mine.

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