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- Opportunity comes through the back door – Napoleon Hill
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- “It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” – Amelia Barr
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“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” – Amelia Barr, famous British novelist and teacher, who wrote Jan Vedder’s Wife
#MondayQuotes: “It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” – Amelia Barr
About Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
Amelia Barr was born on March 29, 1831. She was a British novelist and teacher. Many of the plots of her stories are laid in Scotland and England. The scenes are from her girlhood recollection of surroundings. Her works include, Jan Vedder’s Wife, The Border Shepherdess, Feet of Clay, Friend Olivia, The Bow of Orange Ribbon, Remember the Alamo, She Loved a Sailor, A Daughter of Fife, The Squire of Sanddal Side, and Paul and Christina.
Early years and education
Born on March 29, 1831 in Ulverston, Lancashire, England to Reverend William Huddleston, a Wesleyan minister, she was brought up in an atmosphere of culture and refinement, and early turned to books for recreation and instruction. At the age nine, she became her father’s companion and reader. Thus it was she read books far beyond her comprehension, but they tended to develop her mental qualities. A brief return to her father’s financial stability allowed Barr to return to the Normal School in Glasgow where she learned the Stowe teaching method. Its principles are based on morality and lifelong learning, rather than learning by rote.
On 11 July 1850, she and a prosperous local wool merchant, Robert Barr, married. The couple emigrated to the U.S. in September 1853, landing in New York City. In Chicago, Illinois, Barr tutored at home, and established a school for girls, though she was not involved for long as her husband’s business prospects fell through and they traveled west, settled in Austin, Texas. They remained there until after the American Civil War when they moved to Galveston, where Mr. Barr became an auditor for the state, before he and four sons were stricken with yellow fever and died. Of their 12 children, several died young.
With her three remaining daughters, Mrs. Barr moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey, in 1868. She came there to tutor the three sons of a prominent citizen, William Libby, in ancient and modern literature, music, and drawing; and opened a school in a small house. This structure still stands at the southwest corner of Van Dien and Linwood Avenues. Barr did not like Ridgewood and did not remain there for very long. She left shortly after selling a story to a magazine.
Amelia Barr house, Orange County, New York
Barr asked advice of Henry Ward Beecher, then editor of the Christian Union, in regard to contributions to magazines. He encouraged her to write for his paper. Through the Bouchers or Dr. Lyman Abbott, she met the Harpers and wrote for them many years. After an accident confined her to a chair, unable to employ herself otherwise, she wrote her first novel, Jan Vedder’s Wife. Thereafter, she wrote a great deal.
In 1869, she moved to New York City, where she began to write for religious periodicals and to publish a series of semi-historical tales and novels. By 1891, when she achieved greater success, she and her daughters moved up the Hudson River to Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, where they renovated a house on the slopes of Storm King Mountain and named it Cherry Croft. The name has been applied to that period of her career, the most productive and successful. She remained there until moving in with her daughter Lilly in White Plains in her last years.
Barr had sunstroke in July 1918 and never fully recovered. She died on March 10, 1919, in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, where she had moved in 1914. She was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, New York, near her friend, Louis Klopsch.
Biography source: Wikipedia
Photograph source: BrainPickings