In May, many countries celebrate Mother’s Day, and after the last 12+ months, an extra big “Thank you mom!” is in order. Let’s have a look at what the world owes to moms – and mother figures – with 10 gems from our catalogue.
In the old days, large families like in the novel by Kathleen Norris were not unusual. Margaret has no fewer than six siblings and she does sometimes wonder how her Mother can handle it all each and every day.
She might have taken hints from Betje Wolff, who was way ahead of her time. Already in the 18th century she advocated for an upbringing with a focus on the child’s developmental stages in her book Proeve over de opvoeding.
When it comes to raising kids, teachers are as important as parents. Clare and Alwynne teach at a girls’ school and Clare also takes on a mothering role to Alwynne, something the latter’s aunt does not like at all. Find out who will remain victorious in this Regiment of Women penned by Clemence Dane.
As housekeeper, Ruth Rolt swings the sceptre at #3 Brain Court. Her daughter, Sweet Lavender grows up amidst all the quirky characters inhabiting the house. But wait for the secrets to be revealed in this comedy by Arthur Wing Pinero…
Life at the tenements in 19th century Rio de Janeiro is no laughing matter. Júlia Lopez de Almeida describes in Memorias de Martha the life of a poor mother who is ready to sacrifice everything to raise and educate her daughter.
Something similar happened in Elizabeth Stern’s family, Jewish immigrants from Poland. In My Mother and I, she describes how her mother surreptitiously thwarts her father’s wishes for a traditional education, and how they eventually lose each other when Elizabeth leaves for college.
Edith Wharton tells an opposite story in The Mother’s Recompense. Kate Cephane had left her daughter Anne when she was only three. She returns when Anne gets engaged – only to find that the fiance is familiar. Should she reveal her secret and risk losing her daughter forever?
St. Therese of Lisieux is not afraid to share her innermost thoughts and feelings. Although she became a nun at the age of 15 and never had children, she became a role model for thousands through her writings. The Story of a Soul is her autobiography.
Whether real or fictional, Elizabeth Cooper shows you the secluded world of a Lady of the Chinese Courtyard. The book is composed of letters, first to her husband, then to her mother-in-law, which detail the joys of a bride, the sorrows of losing a child, and the solace of a new found religion.
Equally beautiful sentiments can be found in Augusta Webster’s sonnet Mother and Daughter. It tells of the joy and love between a mother and her only child, but also of mortality – especially since the sonnet remained incomplete.
Enjoy – and do say Thanks to your mom or mother figures!