Modern Responses to Austin’s Fiction

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Modern Responses to Austin’s Fiction

Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting with a lovely group of people at the Doraville Public Library’s American Short Stories discussion group. They read Austin’s short story, “William Bradford’s Love Life,” which Austin had first published in 1869, and which I’ve previously written about here. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from our discussion, but I was so excited to hear their responses! Reviews were mixed, and I don’t think anyone really loved the story. Nobody was happy with the female characters. It’s hard to feel sympathy for Dorothy, mooning about and putting up with her husband whispering

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“William Bradford’s Love Life”

Have you ever heard that Dorothy May Bradford committed suicide by leaping to her death off the Mayflower? Various versions of the story have appeared over the years. If you hear it now, you’re most likely to hear that she did it because she missed her young son, left behind in Holland, and she was terrified of the strange new land in front of her. But the first version of the story is quite different, and it comes directly from Austin’s pen. One of her most infamous short stories is “William Bradford’s Love Life,” first published in Harper’s in 1869

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