Isabella lived during a time when young men and women followed very strict social rules. For example, a gentleman could not speak to or even correspond with a woman without her permission; and often, the young woman couldn’t give permission without first consulting with her parents.
In her 1898 novella “Elizabeth’s Anniversary Week” Isabella illustrated how those societal rules could end up causing difficulties, misunderstandings, and a lot of heartache.
Every September the Brockton family—aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings—gather to celebrate birthdays. The time-honored tradition should bring joy to all who attend, but Mrs. Brockton can’t help but notice her cherished daughter Elizabeth is far from happy about the annual event. In fact, she’s beginning to suspect some sickness has befallen Elizabeth to cause her to be so melancholy. But Elizabeth has a secret, one she has been trying hard to conceal from everyone, especially her mother.
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