This month’s free read was written by Isabella’s best friend and frequent co-author, Faye Huntington (whose real name was Theodosia Foster).
“The Opportunity Circle” is the story of Marion Lansing, a young teen whose life is upended when her mother falls ill, and the family physician tells them they must move to Colorado if she is to be cured.
When the story was written in 1901, physicians often prescribed a change of scenery or climate as a cure for common diseases. And although the author doesn’t mention the name of the mother’s ailment in the story, there’s a good chance that she suffered from tuberculosis.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s tuberculosis—known back then as “consumption” or “white death”—was the country’s leading cause of death. There was no vaccine to prevent the disease, nor antibiotics to treat it.
But physicians did have one course of treatment. They knew that patients who lived in a dry climate with plenty of sunshine seemed to improve. Colorado, with its dry air, high altitude, and sunny skies, was one place where patients found relief and even saw some improvement over the disease.
By the time Faye Huntington wrote “The Opportunity Circle,” Colorado was home to hundreds of sanitariums, spas, and hospitals, all of which catered to tuberculosis patients. But they were pricey, and many TB patients who bought one-way tickets to Colorado didn’t have the money to pay for expensive treatments.
Those less affluent patients erected tent cities outside small towns and mining camps, where they rested and spent as many hours as possible in the sun each day.
In Faye’s story, Marion Lansing’s daily two-mile walks to the mining settlement have some basis in fact. While there’s no record that Faye Huntington ever visited a Colorado mining camp or tuberculosis resort, she probably read newspaper accounts of the many patients who flocked to the mile-high state, and might even have known one or two such patients herself.
You can read “The Opportunity Circle” for free!
Click here to go to BookFunnel.com where you can choose the reading option you like best:
- You can read the story on your computer, phone, iPad, Kindle, or other electronic device. Just choose your preferred format from BookFunnel.com.
- Or you can choose the “My Computer” option to read a PDF version, which you can also print and share with friends.