Eliza Farnham

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Eliza Farnham (November 17, 1815December 15, 1864) 19th-century American novelist, feminist, abolitionist, and activist for prison reform, her fame as a writer rests upon her work as a nature writer. Life in Prairie Land (1846), an account of life on the Illinois prairie near Pekin between 1836 and 1840.


  • San Francisco, I believe, has the most disagreeable climate and locality of any city on the globe. If the winter be not unusually wet, there is some delightful weather to be enjoyed. If it be, you are flooded, and the rainy season closes to give place to what is miscalled summer — a season so cold that you require more clothing than you did in January; so damp with fogs and mists that you are penetrated to the very marrow; so windy that if you are abroad in the afternoon it is a continual struggle. Your eyes are blinded, your teeth set on edge, and your whole person made so uncomfortable by the sand that has insinuated itself through your clothing, that you could not conceive it possible to feel a sensation of comfort short of a warm bath and shower. . . . What sort of end the unfortunates, who spend their lives there, can expect under such circumstances, one does not easily foresee.
    • California, In-doors and Out (1856)
  • Each of the Arts whose office is to refine, purify, adorn, embellish and grace life is under the patronage of a Muse, no god being found worthy to preside over them.
    • Woman and Her Era (1864), pt. 2, ch. 1
  • Our own theological Church, as we know, has scorned and vilified the body till it has seemed almost a reproach and a shame to have one, yet at the same time has credited it with power to drag the soul to perdition.
    • Woman and Her Era (1864), pt. 1, ch. 1
  • The human face is the organic seat of beauty.... It is the register of value in development, a record of Experience, whose legitimate office is to perfect the life, a legible language to those who will study it, of the majestic mistress, the soul.
    • Woman and Her Era (1864), pt. 1, ch. 1

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