The Damnation of Theron Ware

The Damnation of Theron Ware Harold Frederic
  • Title: The Damnation of Theron Ware
  • Author: Harold Frederic
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 421
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The Damnation of Theron Ware Harold Frederic The Damnation of Theron Ware A candid inquiry into the intertwining of religious and sexual fervor and a telling portrait of the United States at the end of the nineteenth century this novel foreshadows the rise of naturalism i
    A candid inquiry into the intertwining of religious and sexual fervor, and a telling portrait of the United States at the end of the nineteenth century, this novel foreshadows the rise of naturalism in American literature The Damnation of Theron Ware published in England as Illumination is an 1896 novel by American author Harold Frederic It is widely considered a classA candid inquiry into the intertwining of religious and sexual fervor, and a telling portrait of the United States at the end of the nineteenth century, this novel foreshadows the rise of naturalism in American literature The Damnation of Theron Ware published in England as Illumination is an 1896 novel by American author Harold Frederic It is widely considered a classic of American literature by scholars and critics though the common reader often has not heard of it The novel reveals a great deal about early 20th century provincial America, religious life, and the depressed state of intellectual and artistic culture in small towns It is similar to Samuel Butler s The Way of All Flesh and Sinclair Lewis s Elmer Gantry It is written in a realistic style.The novel centers on the life of a Methodist pastor named Theron Ware who has recently moved to a fictional small town in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, which Frederic modeled after Utica, New York A promising young pastor recently married, Theron has a number of experiences that cause him to begin to question the Methodist religion, his role as a minister and even the very existence of God His moral decline or illumination is heightened through his dealings with Father Forbes, the town s Catholic priest Dr Ledsmar, a local atheist, philosopher, and man of science and Celia Madden, a local Irish Catholic girl, with whom Theron becomes hopelessly infatuated.
    • [E-Book] ↠ The Damnation of Theron Ware | BY ê Harold Frederic
      Harold Frederic

    About Harold Frederic


    1. Frederic was born in Utica, New York, to Presbyterian parents After his father was killed in a train accident when Frederic was 18 months old, the boy was raised primarily by his mother He finished school at fifteen, and soon began work as a photographer For four years he was a photographic touch up artist in his hometown and in Boston In 1875 he began work as a proofreader for the Utica Herald and then the Utica Daily Observer Frederic later became a reporter, and by 1882 he was editor of the Albany Evening Journal.Two years later he went to live in England as London correspondent of the New York Times He retained this job for the rest of his life He was soon recognized for his ability both as a writer and as a talker He wrote several early stories, but it was not until he published Illumination 1896 , better known by its American title, The Damnation of Theron Ware, followed by Gloria Mundi 1898 , that his gifts as a novelist were fully realized Jonathan Yardley called Damnation a minor classic of realism.Frederic married Grace Green Williams in 1877, and they had five children Sometime between 1889 and 1890, he met Kate Lyon, who became his mistress Frederic and Lyon established a second household, living openly together they had three children Lyon was a Christian Scientist who, when Frederic suffered a stroke in 1898, tried to cure him through faith healing After his death, she was tried on charges of manslaughter and acquitted Frederic was interred in Forest Hill Cemetery in Utica, New York.


    329 Comments


    1. Note on the TextIntroduction The Damnation of Theron Ware, or IlluminationSuggestions for Further Reading

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    2. Frederic, Harold THE DAMNATION OF THERON WARE 1896 I first read this novel back in 1959 for a course called The Advent of Realism in the American Novel The course required reading twenty books during three months most of them, including this one, I had never heard of before Back then, I already knew everything and this novel, after reading it, seemed a great bore Reading it now, I am amazed at what a landmark piece it was in America s literary development I don t know if it s still a commonly a [...]

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    3. Reading Thoughts 22 JAN 2014 Having been visited upon by the trinity of evil, Theron makes a veiled threat and, poof, the evil trinity is gone I know they will be back 28 JAN 2014 Theron is a young man feeling his way in the world He is too naive to really understand the machinations of the narrow minded thinking of the trinity of evil This committee of churchmen have long forgotten the beauty of the Church 29 JAN 2014 Typical man thought Theron is acting in an inappropriate manner and can only [...]

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    4. Once again, I ve read a book that never once would ve come into contact with my bookshelf had it not been for my American Lit class I hadn t heard of The Damnation of Theron Ware until it showed up on the syllabus, but, being one never to shy away from a good story about goin to hell, I looked forward to Harold Frederic s minor classic And, fortunately, it turned out to be a damn fine novel I made a pun I m witty Now makes for a good time to drop some knowledge gleaned from American Lit Frederic [...]

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    5. This is an extraordinary book I wish that I had read it while in school to be fully aware of the symbolism throughout, but the young minister s story is compelling on even the most superficial level of plot Reverend Theron Ware is assigned to serve a congregation in a dull and extremely conservative backwater, where paradoxically, he encounters the most irresistible of temptations the life of the mind The consequences for his vocation, his marriage and his worldview are seismic The prose is ric [...]

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    6. Assigned for a class, this book had all the makings of being a real bore It s a 19th century book on a Methodist minister, written by an author I had never heard lauded, with Victorian language flowery I was looking forward to reading something less dry than what I had been reading for class but given the other books assigned, this was not difficult Boy, I was surprised by this book It s ability to go into new depths regarding the troubles facing pastors in the 19th century and today was reveali [...]

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    7. Illumination is the only title this book should really have This is not a Gothic horror of a young man s fall from grace, the sort of thing I so loved in Le Calvaire and which Octave Mirbeau depicted so exquisitely This tale is too American for that.What I thought about while reading is that history, as good as it is, can never give you the vivid picture of an era that a good novel can And this novel is good The story tells how a naive young Protestant preacher of the 1880 s in New York State fi [...]

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    8. I wish we had from Frederic, as I really loved this novel Some might say the irony is a bit overdone, but I love the twists it adds to his tale You can neither absolutely condemn nor admire just about any of these characters The only one whose potential for redemption is Alice, but even then we see very little of her and her association with Theron and passive role makes it difficult to fully engage Frederic spares no one in this tale, offering a grim outlook for a humanity which undergoes cons [...]

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    9. Theron Ware is a Methodist minister sent to a small town called Octavius to provide the spiritual sustenance for a very small congregation Therein he must navigate the competing demands of his own heart, those of his wife, and his church trustees He also comes to learn of some of the less pure aspects of the church and falls in with a Catholic priest, a man of science, and a seductively decadent rich girl who variously tempt and enlighten him in any number of ways By the time Ware is deemed a bo [...]

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    10. I liked this very much Very easy to read with an engaging plot There were no real cliff hangers at the ends of chapters but I certainly wanted read into the next chapter The author does a great job of engaging the reader with an interesting plot while weaving in his themes without being pedantic And I enjoyed some of the subtle humor satire of the thoughts inside the character s heads Theron is certainly a weak and immature character with little redeeming qualities Yet I did feel sorry for him h [...]

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    11. The only thing interesting to me about this book was its repeated concept of degenerateness, spiritual and physical The sins of the father becoming encoded genetically and spiritually upon the son, until ultimately a line would die out from utter decrepitude.The plot is relatively simple A young preacher is posted to a town He means well but is vain and shallow and doesn t understand the larger social politics at work Hence, certain doom for the naive idiot His main detractor is a woman whose na [...]

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    12. I wish it didn t have a happy ish ending I was hoping for total damnation.For a book that was written in 1896, it s remarkably contemporary and is highly recommended for all teenage and twenty something boys and men Some things you need to see written down.

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    13. A naive Methodist minister encounters a learned doctor and an old Catholic priest who suggest to him ideas altogether new to his intellect He is taken by these new thoughts and reads many progressive books and quickly transforms from the audience to backstage, where you see that the trees and houses are cloth, and the moon is tissue paper, and the flying fairy is a middle aged woman strung up on a rope That doesn t prove the play, out in front, isn t beautiful and affecting, it only shows that e [...]

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    14. Basically a major mid life crisis.This is a longish 3 part relationship story of Evanglist Theron It was written in 1896 in realist style centred in a small town near New York and its religious communities It was actually a rather simple yet cleverly deep story Theron a happily married protestant leader decides to write a book about the biblical person Abraham and goes to the Catholic priest Forbes and his scholar doctor friend Ledsmar to get some help Theron in one conversation learns how na ve [...]

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    15. If older books were as engaging as this hundred year old book, I d read of them This was recommended to me quite a while back by my friend George Minot, and it was a good recommendation A young Methodist minister, hoping for an appointment to a fashionable urban church, is appointed instead to a small, backward looking, congregation in a small town Ironically, it is there that, in spite of his ingrained anti Catholicism and suspicion of modernism, he befriends the local Catholic priest a beaut [...]

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    16. A young, naive and idealistic Methodist preacher is posted to a church in upstate New York where he is dismayed by the pettiness and small mindedness of his congregation and seeks solace in the intellectual and aesthetic company of a Catholic priest, a wealthy bohemian Irish girl and an agnostic scientist His eyes are opened to another world, which shows him the hollowness of both rote religion and intellectual striving and the emptiness of his own character which is culminates in breakdown.I ve [...]

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    17. One of the best novels I ve read on the subjects of personal mediocrity and intellectual frustration Theron Ware is a late 19th century preacher whose cushy job and loving wife don t shield him from a shallow desire to experience something anything He tries to write a book, but is no scholar he tries to flirt with a lovely young pianist, but is no Romeo He commits no great sins, but finds embarrassment and failure proportionate to his foolhardy ambitions.And yet, at the end of the book, you fee [...]

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    18. My journey to this book was a long and dogged one My friend Mary first suggested it several years ago, and our local library didn t carry it The rest of my reading list intervened, and when I put out an all call for reading suggestions, she nudged me again I made a purchase request to the Seattle Public Library, and they eventually saw fit to acquire four copies for the system, and probably got the first read in the city.No classic work of American fiction has ever before made me wish I was read [...]

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    19. Romans 12 3 says, By the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned I take this story to be a haunting parable of self delusion Theron Ware thought himself to be something he wasn t He thought the ministry would provide a context for prominence And he put on airs in a ridiculous way He fooled himself, but he didn t fool anybody else This is a p [...]

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    20. I can t decide if I totally hated this book or if I didn t really like it, but it was still well written and interesting I certainly didn t like it at all, but I can t say it was horrible or poorly done I suppose I don t like a lot of realism, and that is what this book is All I got from it was basically conservative, blinding religion screws people up and they go crazy when they taste the outside world I read it in a literature class, and most of the other students really liked it, so I guess i [...]

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    21. Theron Ware is a young Methodist clergyman during he late 1800 s Raised on a farm he is very innocent and traditional in his beliefs He is moved to a new town where he falls int othe orbit of some very secular sophisticates He falls in love with one of them, and has he puffs himself up into something he is not, he begins to lose his wife, his faith, and his grasp on reality In the climax of the book the woman he thinks he loves rejects him, and by extenion the rest of the sophisticated crowd, an [...]

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    22. A classic American book, I wish I could give it stars Theron Ware is a young Methodist minister who wishes to preach at an urban city with prestige and a higher salary Unfortunately the Methodist Conference assigns him to the small rustic town of Octavius, thought to be based on the author s hometown of Utica, Ny He loathes his parishioners but falls in love with the catholic culture in his community and escapes to it as much as possible He plans to make up for his meager salary by writing a b [...]

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    23. Very good Evidently there was an intellectual world, a world of culture and grace, of lofty thoughts and the inspiring communion of real knowledge, where creeds were not of importance, and where men asked one another, not Is your soul saved , but Is your mind well furnished Would be of particular interest to Catholics and Methodists, and to a lesser degree, to people who grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of New York and want to get a glimpse of life there 120 years ago note on this book It is wid [...]

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    24. Several years ago I listened to a lecture series on Religion in America This book was one of the three that they recommended at the end of the series It presents a window onto what religion was like in the late 19th century it is also a good story It chronicles the slow descent of the Reverend Theron Ware into disbelief, and I think it gave a pretty accurate portrayal of self deception and pride, as seen from the inside out The book dragged quite a bit in the middle, but it picked up towards the [...]

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    25. An interesting book that many are trying to reclaim as an American classic The reader travels with Theron Ware, a Methodist pastor in the 1890s as his character rapidly goes from a model of simple faith to one whose exposure to a broader world leads to a Faustian fall It is a thoughtful piece that is speaking to a time in faith when broader study and the historical critical method started to inform theology at many levels But at times, Theron Ware resonates as a pretty flat, spineless character [...]

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    26. This book is often considered one of the great American novels of the 19th century It feels far modern than that because it addresses the challenge to faith by scientific, logical and aesthetic critiques The writing is very good although the characters quickly make one think of Elmer Gantry but with intellectual reflection It also recalls the opening sections of In the Beauty of the Lilies A book that prvides a nice slice of life in the 1890 s in America A story that unfolds quickly with tragi [...]

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    27. After reading this book I had questions than answers about the rewards of piety, and the consequences of pragmatism The protagonist is easy to identify with in his hopes and ambitions as well as his vulnerability to pride and temptation Those issues are timeless, as is Frederic s prose I recommend this especially to those with an opportunity to discuss the book with others either a book club, or to read it with a friend The Damnation of Theron Ware would lend itself to satisfying philosophical [...]

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    28. My son made me read this He got pretty excited about it because of a college class that focussed on literary realism Personally, he saw in himself similarities to the hypocrisy of Theron Ware Oh, Philip, you re not even close Ware was an interesting character insofar as he was completely unaware of his hipocracy You re far too honestly introspective to be anything like him.This is a brand of realism that I have no enthusiasm for It s part of that tradition which examines the spiritual poverty of [...]

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    29. There were parts of the writing I really enjoyed Some of the descriptions were lovely and made the story feel dimensional and I could picture the scene in my head I was, however, not impressed with the characters or plot I read this for one of my college seminar courses and while I thought it did a nice job of providing interesting discussion in class, it wasn t something that I would recommend to other people I didn t like it Taken from My Sentiments Exactly reviewsatmse 2013

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    30. I first read this back in college for an assignment in obscure American realism writers and fell for it instantly I ve managed to track it down Frederic isn t as readily in print as many of his contemporaries and have read it a time or so since with equal enjoyment Perfect for those who question the ideals and regimen of orthodox ethics, it gives a very human view of a good man s downfall when his life falls short of his expectations.

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