Friday, December 23, 2005

The Little Locksmith

I highly recommend Katharine Butler Hathaway's The Little Locksmith. This book, originally published in 1943 and a bestseller at that time, sadly fell out-of-print and disappeared. Fortunately, The Feminist Press republished the book in 2000. Hathaway's memoir begins in 1895. The book provides an amazing story of a disabled woman who found spiritual fulfillment and independence through the purchase of her own home, truly a remarkable endeavor for a woman of her era. It is very much the story of a romance between a woman and a house, but it is also so much more, including an examination of a writer's life.

Little has been written about Hathaway's memoir, which I find disheartening. I have the beginnings of a draft essay where I discuss Hathaway along with other women's memoirs that center around houses. Although houses have also been places of imprisonment for women who were not allowed to do much else, for some women, a house is a welcome refuge and a place for spiritual development. I have found this particularly true for single women, artists, or, as in Alix Kates Shulman's Drinking the Rain, women going through divorce. I hope, if I can find the time someday, to complete my draft and seek publication. In the meantime, I will just spread the word about this most remarkable book.


At 19.2.08 , Blogger Damesh said...

Very interesting article. On last week I locked myself out of my apartment. It was the drama of the day and I needed to call out a locksmith to let me in. I think a locksmith (or any type of technician job that requires home visits) would be an excellent study in human behavior, sociology, psychology, and the like. You get to see how people live and how they react to adversity. It is important to find an honest and reliable locksmith. Some companies run a criminal background check on all employees to help ensure their people are trustworthy. If you are nervous about hiring a locksmith, ask about the background check policy when you call a company for help.

At 19.2.08 , Blogger stacy said...

I agree - there is something fascinating about locksmiths that would be an excellent study. I would also enjoy reading a locksmith's autobiography. Imagine a title such as "A Locksmith's Memoirs." I would definitely be intrigued!


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