Bede's Charity by Hesba Stretton (PDF)
When Margery Bede stayed at home to care for her father and brother Stephen, she sacrificed all hope of marriage. Her father died, Stephen went off to Australia, and Margery moved to London where she poured her life into raising Cor, a street boy. Broken-hearted Margery gave her life to others but was left alone and unappreciated. The story's theme is maintaining faith and joy in the midst of disappointment. A quote from the book: "I cannot be anything but happy," I said, "because I believe the Lord Christ has given me the right and the power to become one of the daughters of the Lord God almighty; and there never was a father, even a king upon his throne, who cares for his children as my heavenly Father cares for me. Could I be anything else but happy and at peace."
PDF Download, 182 pages, 4 illustrations.
SARAH SMITH (1832-1911) was born in Wellington, England. She had the good fortune of being able to read books from her father's bookshop, a printer of evangelical literature. Her mother was a strong evangelical, but died when Sarah was young. In the March 19th, 1859 issue of Household Words, a publication conducted by Charles Dickens, she published her first short story called The Lucky Leg. It is an intriguing story about a man who wanted to marry a woman with a missing leg. It was more secular, but her talent was recognized. Hesba Stretton became her pen name, Stretton coming from the name of a neighboring village, and Hesba coming from the initials of her siblings. H (Hannah or some sources Harriett), E (Elizabeth), S (Sarah), B (Benjamin), and A (Annie).