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Zitkala-Sa (Red Bird) 1876 - 1938 was born and raised on the Yankton Sioux reservation in South Dakota. She lived a traditional lifestyle until age eight when she left for Quaker school. Old Indian Legends is a collection of folktales that she gathered during her visits home to the reservation.
Ruth Hilton, a young orphaned seamstress, becomes involved with Harry Bellingham - a gentleman who ultimately deserts her, leaving a terrible legacy. Ruth copes and begins to re-build her life, only to re-encounter Harry. The honest portrayal of Ruth and her illegitimate child were a challenge to the views of the society when it was written in 1853.
In this comic novel, Mr. Polly is a timid man who prefers reading books of adventure rather than working in a draper's shop. A life with little money and a spiteful wife is one of woe. A disenchanted Mr.Polly plans to burn down his shop and kill himself. His plan fails and a turn of events leads him to a genuinely brighter future, especially after a dead man has been mistakenly identified as Mr.Polly.
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