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Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Olive

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Olive (1850) is a novel by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik about a wife and painter who was born with physical disability. Excerpt from the book: "Puir wee lassie, ye hae a waesome welcome to a waesome warld!" Such was the first greeting ever received by my heroine, Olive Rothesay. However, she would be then entitled neither a heroine nor even "Olive Rothesay," being a small nameless concretion of humanity, in color and consistency strongly resembling "red earth," whence was taken the father of all nations. No foreshadowing of the coming life brightened her purple, pinched-up, withered face, which, as in all new-born children, bore such a ridiculous likeness to extreme old age. No tone of the all-expressive human voice thrilled through the unconscious wail that was her first utterance, and in her wide-open meaningless eyes had never dawned the beautiful human soul. There she lay, as you and I, reader, with all our compeers, lay once—a helpless lump of breathing flesh.
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