Daily Thoughts for July

30 Jun

In 1895 Isabella published a monthly Bible devotional series titled “Daily Thoughts,” which appeared the first day of each month in The Pansy magazine; and we’re reprinting it in 2020!

Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for the month of July are from The Book of Isaiah.

Click here to open a full-size PDF version of Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for July, which you can read, print, save, and share with others.

Or, click here to download a simplified Word version.

If you missed “Daily Thoughts” for prior months, you can find them here: January February March April May  June

Daily Thoughts for June

30 May

In 1895 Isabella published a monthly Bible devotional series titled “Daily Thoughts,” which appeared the first day of each month in The Pansy magazine; and we’re reprinting it in 2020!

Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for the month of June are from The Gospel According to Matthew.

Click here to open a full-size PDF version of Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for June, which you can read, print, save, and share with others.

Or, click here to download a simplified Word version.

If you missed “Daily Thoughts” for prior months, you can find them here: January February March April May 

Daily Thoughts for May

11 May

In 1895 Isabella published a monthly Bible devotional series titled “Daily Thoughts,” which appeared the first day of each month in The Pansy magazine; and we’re reprinting it in 2020!

Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for the month of May are from the Old Testament books of Psalms, Isaiah, and Proverbs.

Click here to open a full-size PDF version of Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for May, which you can read, print, save, and share with others.

Or, click here to download a simplified Word version.

If you missed “Daily Thoughts” for prior months, you can find them here: January February March April

Happy Easter!

12 Apr

May you have a happy and blessed Easter.

New Free Read: The Little Card

8 Apr

A new month brings a new Free Read!

Isabella’s novella The Little Card was first published in 1891 as a serial in The Pansy magazine.

Miss Teenie Burnside’s health may cause her to stay at home, but that doesn’t mean she can’t minister to others. In fact, when she uses her talents to draw and letter some little cards—each with one of the Bible’s Golden Texts—she hopes her cards will encourage others to read God’s Word. Little does Teenie know just how many people her little cards will reach, or what impact they will have on the lives of strangers in need.

Read The Little Card for free!

Choose the reading option you like best:

To read The Little Card on your computer, phone, ipad, Kindle, or other electronic device, just click here to download your preferred format from BookFunnel.com.

Choose the “My Computer” option to print the story as a PDF document and share it with friends.

Daily Thoughts for April

31 Mar

In 1895 Isabella published a monthly Bible devotional series titled “Daily Thoughts,” which appeared the first day of each month in The Pansy magazine; and we’re reprinting it in 2020!

Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for the month of April are from The First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians.

Click here to open a full-size PDF version of Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for April, which you can read, print, save, and share with others.

Or, click here to download a simplified Word version.

If you missed “Daily Thoughts” for prior months, you can find them here: January February March

Daily Thoughts for March

28 Feb

In 1895 Isabella published a monthly Bible devotional series titled “Daily Thoughts,” which appeared the first day of each month in The Pansy magazine; and we’re reprinting it in 2020!

Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for the month of March are from The Gospel of St. John.

Click here to open a full-size PDF version of Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for March, which you can read, print, save, and share with others.

Or, click here to download a simplified Word version.

If you missed “Daily Thoughts” for prior months, you can find them here: January February

New Free Read: Clean Hands

12 Feb

Happy February! This month’s Free Read is “Clean Hands” by Isabella Alden.

Like many of Isabella’s stories, “Clean Hands” illustrates the great influence a simple Bible verse can have on someone’s life.

Miss Elsie Burton is looking forward to her vacation in the city. Just think! An entire week of fun, shopping, and seeing old friends. But when her pastor bids her good-bye at the train station with the gift of an odd little book of Bible verses, Elsie embarks upon a journey of self-discovery she never anticipated.

Read “Clean Hands” for free!

Choose the reading option you like best:

Read “Clean Hands” on your computer, phone, ipad, Kindle, or other electronic device. Just click here to download your preferred format from BookFunnel.com. Choose the “Read on My Computer” option to print the story and share it with friends.

No Pockets? No Problem!

5 Feb

During Isabella’s lifetime women dressed modestly. Their clothing covered them from head to toe, with high collars at their necks, long sleeves that extended to their wrists, and skirts with hemlines that brushed the floor.

An 1877 reception gown (from the Minnesota Historical Society)

With so much of the body covered, a new gown—even one with a simple design—was a big investment. The average dress in 1900 took eight to twelve yards of fabric to construct.

This day dress from 1882 illustrates how much fabric a dress required.

But even with all that fabric, women’s gowns lacked one essential convenience modern women today take for granted: pockets.

The slim silhouette of a 1913 ladies’ gown left no room for pockets.

When you think about all the things we carry in our pockets—from keys and eye glasses to reminder notes and smart phones—it’s hard to imagine life without those small but handy additions to our shirts, skirts, and pants.

Ladies fashions in 1900, from The Designer magazine.

So how did Isabella and other women of her time carry around small but necessary objects so they were always close at hand?

They used a chatelaine.

A chatelaine was a piece of jewelry with chains from which accessories were hung.

Some chatelaines were ornate and expensive; others were purely practical.

If you watched episodes of the TV show “Downton Abbey,” you may have seen Downton’s housekeeper, Mrs. Hughes, wearing a plain and utilitarian chatelaine.

From her chatelaine she suspended a few essentials she probably used regularly throughout the day in such a large household: a small pair of scissors, and keys to the silver closet, perhaps, or maybe the wine cellar.

Some women customized their chatelaine for a specific purpose. For example, a seamstress or a mother who regularly found herself mending her children’s clothes might accessorize her chatelaine with needles, thread, and other sewing essentials.

This chatelaine carried (from left to right) scissors with a protective sheath, a scent bottle. sewing kit, and a whistle.

Inside the sewing kit was a dowel with thread, a small thimble, and a cylinder for holding needles.

Here’s another example of a silver-plated chatelaine customized with five sewing tools:

It was accessorized with a needle holder, a thimble, a pin cushion in the shape of a book, a tape measure, and a scissor sheath.

Artist Franz von Defregger depicted a chatelaine in his painting, The Letter (1884).

The chatelaine below was accessorized for a nurse, and contains (left to right) a pencil, an ivory notepad, pill box, scissors, tape measure, and a whistle.

A nurse’s chatelaine (from Wikimedia.org).

Scent bottles were common components of a lady’s chatelaine. Because women’s corsets often left them short of breath or feeling faint from heat or exertion, a small bottle of smelling salts was essential.

A silver and crystal perfume bottle from an 1898 chatelaine.

Sometimes women filled the bottles with perfume, which they held to their nose to ward off foul odors that were common at a time before deodorants and reliable sewer systems. In such cases, these bottles were often called “vinaigrettes.”

A whistle was another common accessory. Since well-mannered ladies never raised their voices, even in times of danger or emergency, a whistle was the best way for a woman to summon help.

Many women added small bags to their chatelaines. Made of metal mesh, fabric or leather, they held handkerchiefs, coins, and eye glasses.

A silver and leather chatelaine bag from Tiffany and Co. (courtesy of MetMuseum.org).

During Isabella’s lifetime, chatelaines were popular enough to draw criticism and comedy. One newspaper lamented the number of chatelaine accessories women were willing to wear, and printed this illustration of a wife who went a little overboard with her accessories:

The same publication poked fun at mothers who over accessorized their chatelaines:

But chatelaines came in all shapes and sizes. The lady in the photo below is dressed for the out of doors; her short chatelaine looks like a piece of jewelry and is accessorized with a watch and a whistle, among other things.

While many chatelaines were clipped to a woman’s belt or waistband, some small chatelaines were designed to be worn as a brooch. The young woman in the photo below is wearing a small chatelaine accessorized with a dainty little scent bottle.

Ladies in Isabella’s circle also used chatelaines. Here’s a photograph of Isabella and her family members at Chautauqua Institution. Seated left to right are Isabella’s husband Dr. Alden, Isabella, Mrs. Christensen, Isabella’s sister Julia Macdonald, Grace Livingston, and Dr. Hannah B. Mulford. Standing are Miss May Williamson and Isabella’s son Raymond.

A closer look at Julia and Miss Williamson shows that both ladies were wearing small chatelaines, although it’s difficult to make out what accessories they wore.

What do you think of chatelaines? Would you wear one?

If you had a chatelaine, what kind of accessories would you have?

A final note: Not all chatelaines were metal. An 1894 issue of The Youth’s Companion magazine published a simple pattern for a chatelaine you can make from fabric and ribbon. Click on the image below to see a larger version of the instructions.

 

Shining a Light on Raymond Alden

3 Feb

Although this blog is all about Isabella Alden, today we’re shining the spotlight on another member of the Alden family.

Isabella’s son, Raymond, was featured in an article that appeared 111 years ago in The San Jose Mercury News on February 3, 1909.

Unfortunately the type is difficult to read, so here’s a transcript of the article:

Tuesday, Feb 2

Dr. Raymond M. Alden, of the English department at Stanford University, will lecture on “Fiction and Real Life” at the Young Women’s Christian Association, Wednesday, Feb. 3rd, at 2 o’clock. The Association is to be congratulated upon securing such an eminent speaker for this culture lecture, and it is hoped that all lovers of literature will be present. Dr. Alden has had a really remarkable career, especially for a man not yet forty. His mother, Mrs. Isabella Alden, is a great favorite among juvenile readers, as the author of the “Pansy” books; and his father, Rev. Dr. G. R. Alden, is a divine of no little prominence.

Dr. Raymond Alden was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was afterwards assistant in English, and where he received his Ph.D. in 1898. He was also instructor in English literature at the Columbian [sic] University and at Harvard.

An undated photo of Raymond Macdonald Alden.

Amidst his busy life, R. Alden has found time to edit several text books, besides contributing to numerous magazines. “The Art of Debate,” is perhaps Dr. Alden’s best known book; it was produced since his coming to Stanford University.

It is needless to add that Dr. Alden is a universal favorite among university students, to whom he has greatly endeared himself not only because of his delightful personality, but because of his breadth of mind and scholarly attainments.

This lecture will be free to all members of the Association; non-members, ten cents admission. It will be given at rooms, 97 South First street.

p.s. Raymond was only 36 years old when this article was written!

Writer Jenny Berlin

Faith, romance, and a place to belong

The Hall in the Grove

Author of Classic Christian Fiction

Isabella Alden

Author of Classic Christian Fiction

Britt Reads Fiction

Reviews and giveaways for Christian fiction and sweet, clean fiction. Bringing readers information on great stories and connecting authors with their readers.

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