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More stories from a long-lost world
Originally published in 1949, Evelyn Eaton’s collection of short stories about her life in France and England in the first half of the 20th century has been updated and re-released for today’s e-book readers. Some of these stories originally appeared in The New Yorker in the 1940s.
Ms. Eaton’s stories are full of delightful humor, and vividly bring back a world which was swept
away by war and political turmoil. Today’s readers will find these stories just as appealing.
From Chapter 1, Hellbent
I was seven when I decided that I wanted to go to hell, if not immediately, ultimately, and that I would do my best to be sure of getting there. My father was responsible for this decision. He was, at that time, 1910, Director of Military Training in Canada. I was his youngest daughter. We lived in a town near Ottawa, with my mother, my sister, our English governess, the maid, the cook, the handyman, two dogs, three cats, a canary and some goldfish. Though I saw him least, Father was the most important of the group to me. I hung on all his words.
It was a hot Sunday in June when I first heard his opinion of hell. We were walking home from church. Father objected to turning out the horses on a Sunday, especially all our house was only six blocks from the Cathedral of Saint Simon and Saint Jude, where we had our pew. It gratified Miss Hillman, our governess, that we were C. of E.—Church of England. It made her feel more at home, If she had to make her home among colonials, to have them worship in the proper way, by which she meant the English way. In England it would never have done for people of our station to be nonconformist.