Only a handful of writers who began over 130 years ago are still read by an ever-increasing family of readers. Grace Livingston Hill is one of those writers.
Her writing is often seen very differently by those who read it—and that's why it endures. It is at times a Christian life lesson, a romance, first-hand history, or even an outreach tool. The impact is as varied as the readers themselves.
No matter how we read Grace's books, they inspire us to reach new heights.
Grace's work and its simple message continue into a new century, always reminding us that God is the ultimate answer to every question—even in today's complicated world.
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Society Girl Constance Wetherill is faced with a dramatic lifestyle change right on page one. Her recently-deceased uncle has mismanaged the family's assets and there is only "the paltry sum of five thousand dollars" between herself and poverty.
She decides it best to disappear from society to avoid the scorn of her friends and longs to "begin life as if she were another girl and to see whether she could not make of it something worth while."
Constance takes a trip to think things out. While her train has stopped for an accident blocking the tracks, she gets out for a stroll and stumbles upon an old house that the locals say is haunted by the ghosts of a girl who committed suicide and her faithful dog. Could this "hanted" house be used as a hiding place and a refuge from the storm of The Wetherill's life?
The White Lady is one of several books written by Grace Livingston Hill, but published under the "non de plume" Marcia Macdonald. These books were meant for a different audience than her regular novels, which explains the name change. This title was contracted as a "full-length book for girls".
Marcia Macdonald was the maiden name of Grace's mother.
She wrote as "Mrs. C. M. Livingston" and in addition to publishing several children's books of her own, wrote books in collaboration with family members, including Grace, her husband, Rev. C. M. Livingston, and her sister's family, The Aldens. Mrs. Livingston's sister was the well-known author, Isabella Macdonald Alden, who wrote as "Pansy". It was "Auntie Belle" who began Grace on her writing career.
This novel is a bit of a departure from Grace's typical fare. But her readers wouldn't have known that in 1930, would they? Enjoy a unique Marcia Macdonald classic!
"Pansies for Thoughts", in its original edition, is a rare little gem first published by D. Lothrop Company in 1888. This book was "compiled and arranged with an appropriate text for each day" by young Grace Livingston (she would not marry Rev. Hill until 1892).
It is not, as some mistakenly believe, a devotional with daily thoughts from Grace's own pen. Instead, this daily devotional is filled with quotes from books written by Grace's author-aunt, Isabella Macdonald Alden. Isabella wrote under the pen name "Pansy", thus the play on words in the title, referencing the line from Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
Grace selected a quote for each day from one of the "Pansy Books" and paired it with a Scripture or a bit of verse. It was a joy for "Auntie Belle" (as Grace called her) to watch her niece in action. The original book's Preface (which is completely missing from the modern editions) gives us an insight into Grace's young life, how the book was put together, and how humbled Pansy was to be thus immortalized.
I have followed with absorbing interest the compilation of this volume. As I have watched the fair young head bent from day to day over "The Deathless Book," making quotations from its inspired pages that should repeat and emphasize my own thoughts, there has been a grateful, uplifting, humbling realization of the fact that I was being linked with immortality! For certainly the words that accompany my simple ones make each page glow with a light that shall have power to shine even to the very gates of the eternal city.
Moreover, as I have watched the thoughtful face of the compiler brighten and flush, and her eyes grow earnest while her heart took in some solemn charge of the Master, I have felt that, as she transmitted it to paper, there went with it a prayer that the Holy Spirit who had guided her choice, would use these pages in a way to lead some souls daily higher, even into the "shining light" of the "perfect day."
In this wish and prayer I join her earnestly, as the little book goes out to do its work.
After fifteen years of searching, I began to doubt this little book's existence until the day I received an email from abebooks.com.