Year of Wonders

by

Geraldine Brooks

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Anna is the novel’s protagonist and narrator. A young widow and housemaid, during the plague she becomes Eyam’s doctor, nurse, and midwife alongside her mistress, Elinor Mompellion, the vicar’s wife. While she lacks any formal education, she’s extremely intelligent and thoughtful, learning to read and acting as a voice of reason when those around her succumb to panic and hysteria. Anna is defined by her altruism, frequently risking her life to help others. This altruism is caused in part by an indifference to her own fate following the death of her sons at the plague’s outset, a loss from which she never fully recovers. While her community is deeply moralistic and superstitious in many ways, Anna has a very progressive perspective on many philosophical and social issues. She objects to the unequal treatment of women and the highhanded behavior of the gentry toward the poor. She’s also one of the only characters who doesn’t believe in witchcraft, and she concludes that the plague is a problem that should be approached scientifically rather than as a matter of divine castigation. While working to preserve her community, Anna battles her own personal traumas, namely the untimely death of her husband, her childhood memories of abuse at the hands of her brutal father Josiah, and her intense longing for a life that isn’t so limited by her gender and class. By the end of the novel, both the plague and the actions of the people affected by the plague has shaken, if not destroyed, Anna’s belief in God and the stability of human society. However, her faith in her own capabilities is strengthened by the ordeal, and her openness to love and to helping others results in her once again having children—a daughter she bears on her own and another she adopts. By then moving to Arab-controlled Andalusia, she secures a life of far greater autonomy, education, and purpose than she ever expected.

Anna Frith Quotes in Year of Wonders

The Year of Wonders quotes below are all either spoken by Anna Frith or refer to Anna Frith. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Year of Wonders published in 2002.
Part 1: Apple-Picking Time Quotes

I used to love this season. The wood stacked by the door, the tang of its sap still speaking of forest. The hay made, all golden in the low afternoon light. The rumble of the apples tumbling into the cellar bins. Smells and sights and sounds that said this year it would be all right: there’d be food and warmth for the babies by the time the snows came. I used to love to walk in the apple orchard this time of the year, to feel the soft give underfoot when I trod on a fallen fruit. Thick, sweet scents of rotting apple and wet wood. This year, the hay stocks are few and the woodpile scant, and neither matters much to me.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker)
Related Symbols: Apples
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Ring of Roses Quotes

There was something in her that could not, or would not, see the distinctions that the world wished to make between weak and strong, between women and men, laborer and lord

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Elinor Mompellion
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: The Thunder of His Voice Quotes

Why would I marry? I’m not made to be any man’s chattel. I have my work, which I love. I have my home…but more than these, I have something that very few women can claim: my freedom. I will not lightly surrender it.

Related Characters: Anys Gowdie (speaker), Anna Frith
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:

Dark and light, dark and light…that was how I had been taught to view the world. The Puritans who had ministered to us here had held that all actions and thoughts could be only one of two natures: godly and right, or Satanic and evil. But Anys Gowdie confounded such thinking. There was no doubt that she did good: in many ways, the well-being of our village rested more on her works, and those of her aunt, than on the works of the rectory’s occupant. And yet, her fornication and her blasphemy branded her a sinner in the reckoning of our religion.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Anys Gowdie
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Sign of a Witch Quotes

“The man who sent it is a well-esteemed physician, and he says it is a remedy much thought of among the Florentine doctors…”

“But what is it?” I asked again.

“It contains a dried toad,” she said. I wept then, even though I knew her intentions were all of the best.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Elinor Mompellion (speaker)
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Wide Green Prison Quotes

That man was a ship’s barber; he pulled teeth and amputated limbs. He knew nothing of women’s bodies. But you do know. You can do this, Anna. Use your mother-hands.

Related Characters: Elinor Mompellion (speaker), Anna Frith
Related Symbols: Childbirth
Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Among Those That Go Down to the Pit Quotes

For Mr. Stanley had commenced to attend Mr. Mompellion’s services….and in the weeks since the Billings family and some others from among the nonconformists had begun to come as well. They did not join in all the hymns, nor did they follow the words of the Book of Common Prayer, but that they gathered with us at all was a wonder.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Michael Mompellion , Thomas Stanley
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: The Body of the Mine Quotes

I did not go, and for that I will forever reproach myself. Because out of our negligence and her loneliness came much rage. Much rage and some madness – and a surfeit of grief.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Aphra Bont
Page Number: 205
Explanation and Analysis:

I saw that she had fashioned, instead, a figure that looked like a manikin. This she lay atop the cairn. I commenced to say the Lord’s Prayer, and I thought she was saying it with me in a low, deep-throated murmur. But when I said amen, her muttering continued, and the sign she made at the end of it did not resemble the sign of the cross.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Aphra Bont
Page Number: 208
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: The Press of Their Ghosts Quotes

By gathering and sorting my own feelings so, I was finally able to fashion a scale on which I could weigh my father’s nature and find a balance between my disgust for him and an understanding of him; my guilt in the matter of his death against the debt he owed me for the manner of my life.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Elinor Mompellion, Josiah Bont , Aphra Bont
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:

Why, I wondered, did we, all of us, both the rector in his pulpit and simple Lottie in her croft, seek to put the Plague in unseen hands? Why should this thing be either a test of faith sent by God, or the evil working of the Devil in the world? One of these beliefs we embraced, the other we scorned as superstition. But perhaps each was false, equally.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Michael Mompellion , Lottie and Tom Mowbray
Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:

For if we could be allowed to see the Plague as a thing in Nature merely, we did not have to trouble about the grand celestial design that had to be contemplated before the disease would abate. We could simply work upon it as a farmer might toil to rid his field of unwanted tare, knowing that when we found the tools and the method and the resolve, we would free ourselves, no matter if we were a village of sinners or a host of saints.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker)
Page Number: 215
Explanation and Analysis:

But fear, as I have said, was working strange changes in all of us, corroding our ability for clear thought. Within a sennight, Martin Miller had girt his family in sack cloth and fashioned a scourge. Randoll Daniel did likewise, though thankfully he did not ask it of his wife and babe. Together, Randoll and the Millers went about the village exhorting others to join them in their bloody self-chastisement.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Mary and Randoll Daniel, Martin Miller
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:

I was jealous of them both at once. Of him, because Elinor loved him, and I hungered for a greater share of her love than I could ever hope for. And yet I was jealous of her, too; jealous that she was loved by a man as a woman is meant to be loved.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Elinor Mompellion, Michael Mompellion
Page Number: 229
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: A Great Burning Quotes

To me, she had become so many things. So many things a servant has no right or reason to imagine that the person they serve will be. Because of her, I had known the warmth of a motherly concern – the concern that my own mother had not lived to show me. Because of her, I had a teacher and was not ignorant and unlettered still.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Elinor Mompellion
Related Symbols: Childbirth
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:

To be sure, our stocks were nothing so fearful as the Bakewell pillory. In that market town, where people came and went without deep ties to another, to be pilloried was to be a target of rotten fruit or fish heads or any noisome thing the mob could lay a hand to. […] Even Reverend Stanley seldom called for sinners to be stocked, and Mr. Mompellion had actively discouraged it.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Michael Mompellion , Aphra Bont , Thomas Stanley
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:

She plunged and leapt, barking out a nonsense chant that rose in pitch to a piercing cry: “Arataly, rataly, ataly, taly, aly, ly…..” She darted then toward the fire, seizing out the ends of an iron that had lain in the blaze, and placed them on the earthen floor so as to form an X. She prostrated herself four times, in each notch of the figure, and then reached up her arms as if in supplication.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Aphra Bont
Page Number: 249
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Apple-Picking Time Quotes

His wife had been hacked down in front of him. My olive shoots had been blighted. Why? His unasked question roared in my head. Just such a why had nagged at my unquiet mined through too many sleepless nights. But that he, too, should be asking it…Let her speak direct to God to ask forgiveness…but I fear she may find Him a poor listener, as many of us here have done. Could he really have come to believe that all our sacrifice, all our pain and misery, had been for nothing?

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Michael Mompellion
Page Number: 269
Explanation and Analysis:

We live, we live, we live, said the hoofbeats, and the drumming of my pulse answered them. I was alive, and I was young, and I would go on until I found some reason for it. As I rode that morning, smelling the scent of the hoofcrushed heather, feeling the wind needle my face until it tingled, I understood that where Michael Mompellion had been broken by our shared ordeal, in equal measure I had been tempered and made strong.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Michael Mompellion
Page Number: 271
Explanation and Analysis:

“I thought I spoke for God. Fool. My whole life, all I have done, all I have said, all I have felt, has been based upon a lie. Untrue in everything. So now,” he said, “I have learned at last to do as I please!”

Related Characters: Michael Mompellion (speaker), Anna Frith
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:

In lying with him, I had sought to bring her closer to me. I had tried to become her, in every way that I could. Instead, in taking my pleasure from his body, I had stolen from her – stolen what should have been hers, her wedding night.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Elinor Mompellion, Michael Mompellion
Page Number: 281
Explanation and Analysis:

Why, I wondered, had the surgeon abandoned this case as hopeless? Had he persevered here he could easily have done what I was about to attempt. It came to me then that he must have arrived under instruction to be negligent.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Colonel Bradford, Anne Bradford
Related Symbols: Childbirth
Page Number: 285
Explanation and Analysis:

This little girl seemed to me, at that moment, answer enough to all my questions. To have saved this small, singular one – this alone seemed reason enough that I lived. I knew then that this was how I was meant to go on: away from death and toward life, from birth to birth, from seed to blossom, living my life amongst wonders.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Aisha
Related Symbols: Childbirth
Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis:

As hard as I willed it, I could not draw up anything to follow: no formal supplication, no Bible verse, no scrap of liturgy. All of the texts and Psalms and orisons I had by rote were gone from me, erased, as surely as hard-learned words written with painful effort onto a slate can be licked away with the lazy swipe of a dampened rag.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Elizabeth Bradford , Aisha
Page Number: 289
Explanation and Analysis:
Epilogue Quotes

We have spoken much since then about faith: the adamantine one by which the doctor measures every moment of his day, and that flimsy, tattered thing that is the remnant of my own belief. I see it like the faded threads of a banner on a battlement, shot-shredded, and if it once bore a device, none could now say what it might have been. I have told Ahmed Bey that I cannot say that I have faith anymore. Hope, perhaps. We have agreed that it will do, for now.

Related Characters: Anna Frith (speaker), Ahmed Bey
Page Number: 301
Explanation and Analysis:
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Anna Frith Character Timeline in Year of Wonders

The timeline below shows where the character Anna Frith appears in Year of Wonders. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Apple-Picking Time
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Anna Frith, a housemaid in the English town of Eyam, remarks that she used to love... (full context)
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Anna cuts up an apple and takes it to her employer, the rector Michael Mompellion, who... (full context)
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Leaving the rectory for the night, Anna walks home through the orchards to avoid meeting anyone. The trees make her remember good... (full context)
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However, after three years Sam was killed in a mining accident. Anna remarks that Sam’s was the first of dozens of dead bodies she has prepared for... (full context)
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Anna spends a lonely night in her cottage and returns to the rectory in the morning... (full context)
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At the rectory Anna finds Elizabeth Bradford, the daughter of a local family of landed gentry. Elizabeth demands to... (full context)
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Elizabeth pushes past Anna and ambushes Mompellion on the rectory stairwell, demanding that he come to her mother, who... (full context)
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In the kitchen, Elizabeth breaks down in weeping so pathetically that Anna can’t help consoling her. Elizabeth confesses that Mrs. Bradford doesn’t actually have a tumor, implying... (full context)
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Anna is concerned by the sudden turn in the Bradfords’ circumstances, but even more so by... (full context)
Part 2: Ring of Roses
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...the previous year. After the financial hardships of the first winter of her husband’s death, Anna is thankful when George Viccars, a journeyman tailor new to town, becomes her paying tenant,... (full context)
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...Mr. Hadfield orders a box of cloth from London, which he and George store in Anna’s cottage. Even though he’s inundated with orders for clothes from the villagers, George finds time... (full context)
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Anna sleeps poorly, mulling over the possibility of marrying George. Preoccupied since her husband’s death with... (full context)
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Arriving at the rectory, where she works as a housemaid in the mornings, Anna finds Elinor Mompellion working in the garden. Elinor is a rare example of a well-born... (full context)
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However, Anna doesn’t want Elinor to teach her herb knowledge, lest other people begin to think she... (full context)
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After completing her morning’s work at the rectory, Anna returns home to nurse Tom. She’s surprised her sons are sitting in the kitchen with... (full context)
Part 2: The Thunder of His Voice
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The morning after George’s death, Anna begins scrubbing the house and prepares to burn all his possessions. However, Anys Gowdie arrives... (full context)
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In the afternoon, Anna walks to Bradford Hall, where she staffing a large dinner that evening. On her way,... (full context)
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Leaving the cottage, Anna reflects that Anys defies the black-and-white concept of sin the Puritans taught her as a... (full context)
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As she walks Anna passes the Riley farm, where her friend Lib Hancock lives with her husband as tenant... (full context)
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Anna continues reluctantly to Bradford Hall. She dislikes and fears the Bradford family. Colonel Bradford orders... (full context)
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Anna waits on the Bradfords and their dinner guests. While most of them behave as though... (full context)
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...smirk at what they see as unnecessary selflessness, but Mompellion sticks to his convictions. When Anna returns home, she rushes to Jamie and Tom and checks them for fever, feeling profoundly... (full context)
Part 2: Rat-Fall
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After George’s death are three uneventful weeks of lovely fall weather, and Anna stops expecting disaster at every turn. She takes Jamie and Tom on long rambles through... (full context)
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...a childish surprise for his mother, showering rose petals on her from the upstairs window. Anna says that that her love from her sons and the simple experiences she shares with... (full context)
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Anna continues the work of the fall harvest, helping her neighbors, the Hadfields, butcher their hogs... (full context)
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Rain comes and brings fleas which cover Anna and her sons in bites. Anna meets Mem Gowdie, on her way to treat Edward... (full context)
Part 2: Sign of a Witch
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The Plague, Anna says, is especially cruel in that it inflicts gratuitous grief, letting “its blows fall and... (full context)
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Elinor helps Anna nurse Jamie. She brings letters from Mompellion’s colleagues at Oxford, doctors who recommend complex poultices... (full context)
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After five days, Jamie dies, attended by Anna and both the Mompellions. He is buried alongside a growing number of plague victims. In... (full context)
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One evening three weeks after Jamie’s death, Anna is retrieving an errant sheep from the moors when she comes across an inebriated and... (full context)
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When Anna wakes up, Mem is sinking, which means she is “innocent” but likely to drown. No... (full context)
Part 2: Venom in the Blood
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Anna and Elinor try to nurse Mem, but she dies of her beating five days after... (full context)
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Anna is expecting a harsh sermon from Mompellion, since he’s been working diligently all week, as... (full context)
Part 2: Wide Green Prison
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Leaving the church and feeling good about the town’s decision, Anna encounters Maggie Cantwell, the Bradfords’ cook. The Bradfords have summarily fired her and ordered her... (full context)
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...and decide to return to their families. Everyone else resigns themselves to their new isolation. Anna says that this is mostly a mental adjustment, since she rarely leaves the village boundaries.... (full context)
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When Anna arrives at the rectory the next day, Elinor greets her with the news that Mary... (full context)
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Examining Mary Daniels, Anna realizes that the baby is crosswise, meaning the birth is dangerous and perhaps fatal. She... (full context)
Part 2: So Soon to be Dust
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...her and carried her away in a handcart. Mompellion praises him for his heroism, while Anna curses the Bradfords for making their servants homeless and driving them to desperation. Jakob Merrill,... (full context)
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Needing a cart in which to transport Maggie to her cottage, Anna goes to the Miner’s Tavern and runs into Josiah, who can be found there drinking... (full context)
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Anna is roused from fear and self-pity when she returns to the Merrill house to see... (full context)
Part 2: The Poppies of Lethe
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Anna reflects on the prospect of slipping into sin, saying that the famous “Fall” of Adam... (full context)
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Leaving her house for the day, Anna sees a neighbor’s child, Sally Maston, standing in the doorway and obviously stricken with the... (full context)
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That night, instead of doing her chores or making dinner, Anna drinks the rest of the poppy oil and spends the night in blissful oblivion. When... (full context)
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On her way, Anna passes untended farm fields whose owners have fallen to the plague. All the village harvest... (full context)
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Anna begins to clean the cottage and haul wood for a fire. She discovers that Kate... (full context)
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Anna proceeds through snow drifts to the Gowdie cottage. She sees the silhouette of a person... (full context)
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Elinor insists that, since they are working together as equals, Anna call her by her Christian name, rather than addressing her formally as Mrs. Mompellion. Moreover,... (full context)
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...of wedlock. She says that while she hates to relive those memories, because she and Anna are undertaking an important and dangerous role of doctors, she wants Anna to truly “know”... (full context)
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Anna reflects on how little she knew about Elinor and Mompellion before this. Although she thought... (full context)
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...of the plague. The map makes it clear that contagion spread like a “starburst” from Anna’s cottage, where the infected cloth was stored, outward to surrounding houses. Elinor points out that... (full context)
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Anna and Elinor spend the day sorting through the Gowdies’ herbs, trying to match them to... (full context)
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Before leaving the cottage, Elinor hands Anna the small supply of poppy herbs and asks what should be done with them. Anna... (full context)
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As the walk home, Anna resolves to work towards becoming “the woman that Elinor wished me to be.” However, in... (full context)
Part 2: Among Those That Go Down to the Pit
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When Elinor and Anna return to the rectory, they find Mompellion in the churchyard, furiously digging one grave after... (full context)
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The next day, Anna accompanies Mompellion to the Merrill farm, where Jakob Merril is dying. Brand, still living at... (full context)
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...night, Mompellion has to dig two more graves without even a pause for dinner, and Anna knows he can’t go on like this. Reluctantly, she visits Josiah’s cottage, where she finds... (full context)
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As the winter progresses, Anna is so busy nursing the sick she barely has time to sleep. She doesn’t even... (full context)
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Anna and Elinor turn the rectory kitchen into a laboratory, in which they experiment with different... (full context)
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Anna comes to dread Sundays, since the empty pews in the church emphasize the limitations of... (full context)
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While Mompellion continues to attend to the dying, Elinor and Anna take on the case of nine-year-old Merry Wickford, the daughter of Quaker couple George and... (full context)
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As the ninth week approaches, Anna informs Elinor of the problem and Elinor suggests that they “get the dish out” themselves.... (full context)
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Anna and Elinor go to the Wickford cottage, where Merry now lives alone. When they tell... (full context)
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Anna and Elinor descend via ladder into the mine, which is slick, wet and dark. At... (full context)
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...that they won’t be able to produce a dish by the end of the day. Anna knows another technique to extract ore, called fire-setting. It’s a complicated and volatile process and... (full context)
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Anna and Merry gather wood and tinder, then drip cold water into the mine and cram... (full context)
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The ore begins to fall from the walls, but large slabs of it pin Anna down. Mud fills her mouth and she knows she will die, but as she loses... (full context)
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Anna regains consciousness to find Elinor and Merry, neither of whom actually left the mine as... (full context)
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Anna goes to sleep nursing bruises on her face and back, but sleeps better than she... (full context)
Part 2: The Body of the Mine
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Anna feels like an old woman as she tries to force her slowly healing body through... (full context)
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When Anna runs into Aphra, she attempts to remonstrate with her, but Aphra just says that Josiah... (full context)
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...he callously digs graves right outside the windows of the ailing. At this, Mompellion and Anna visit his cottage to ask that he be less greedy. Joss is unmoved; he launches... (full context)
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...believes himself near death. Although Mompellion hasn’t even eaten breakfast, he immediate sets off with Anna. As they walk, they pass the village green, where the stocks and cucking stool are... (full context)
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When Anna and Mompellion arrive at the Unwin house, they find that Christopher isn’t dead or even... (full context)
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That afternoon, Josiah is so violent and intemperate that he’s ejected from the Miner’s Tavern. Anna is worried he will abuse his wife and children and tactfully tells Aphra she can... (full context)
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Anna rises to a beautiful spring dawn, but while she’s drawing water from the well a... (full context)
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...Court, the judicial organization of the miner’s and Eyam’s only governing body of any kind. Anna doesn’t want anything to do with it, but she has to attend the trial as... (full context)
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...hands will be impaled by a knife to the stakes of the Unwin mine. Later, Anna is told that he “howled like a trapped animal” when the punishment was carried out. (full context)
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...he is left unguarded, so that someone from his family can come to free him. Anna assumes that Aphra will do this for Josiah, so she doesn’t worry about it. It... (full context)
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Stepping back from the narrative and reflecting on Josiah’s terrible death, Anna concludes that the fault lies with everyone in the community. Because the Bonts are so... (full context)
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Three days after Josiah’s trial, Aphra arrives at Anna’s cottage, clutching her daughter, Faith, and demanding to know if Anna has rescued her father.... (full context)
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Pitying her stepmother, Anna accompanies her to collect Josiah’s body. When they arrive at the moors they find that... (full context)
Part 2: The Press of Their Ghosts
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While making tea in the rectory, Anna begins crying for her dead father and sons. She realizes she hasn’t had enough time... (full context)
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Anna tells Elinor of the childhood traumas that molded Joss’s unscrupulous character. As a child he... (full context)
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Telling Elinor about Joss’s life and realizing how much he has suffered makes Anna feel that her mind has been “rinsed” clean. She feels that she’s finally achieved a... (full context)
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...have followed the quarantine because he feared conscription if he fled toward the coast, and Anna says that she thinks Aphra convinced her husband that she had supernatural “chants or charms”... (full context)
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As Anna walks home she begins to wonder why everyone, from Mompellion to the Mowbrays, attributes the... (full context)
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Anna stubs her toe on a rock, which makes her think about God’s agency in the... (full context)
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Ultimately, Anna thinks it’s best not to spend too much time on these intractable questions. Rather, they... (full context)
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As May arrives, the land blossoms into a beautiful spring. Anna watches apple trees flower and reflects that these things used to make her happy. Her... (full context)
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...as many villagers have died as are alive. As she walks through the eerie streets, Anna feels “the press of their ghosts” oppressing her. The village now lacks skilled workers since... (full context)
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John and Urith Gordon stop coming to services at Cucklett Delf, and Anna notices that Urith Gordon, always cowed and afraid of her husband, is thinner and quieter... (full context)
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Mompellion and Anna set out to confront the Gordons. On their way they come across an inebriated couple... (full context)
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Arriving at the Gordon cottage Anna and Mompellion find every wall covered in crosses and Urith starving under the fast John... (full context)
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...soothe Mompellion, telling him he always does what is best for the village. One night, Anna stumbles upon them in a moment of intimacy; Elinor is asleep in a chair while... (full context)
Part 2: A Great Burning
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Anna and Elinor spend the day visiting widows and widowers who have survived the plague, since... (full context)
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On their walk home, Anna and Elinor muse over how the plague chooses its victims. They can understand some aspects... (full context)
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Elinor begins coughing and Anna is terrified, checking her for fever and insisting she sit down. Trying to be reassuring,... (full context)
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...Elinor’s fever rises. While Mompellion tries to spend as much time with her as possible, Anna stays at the rectory when he is called away to other tasks and tends Elinor... (full context)
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As Elinor’s condition becomes graver and Anna becomes more exhausted and desperate, she even blames herself for Elinor’s illness, interpreting it as... (full context)
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...she’s lucky to have been blessed with a husband like Mompellion and a friend like Anna. She says that the plague has changed Anna, making her stronger and more confident in... (full context)
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...her erstwhile lover, Charles, and then for Mompellion, speaking in such an intimate tone that Anna is embarrassed. Mompellion appears and dismisses Anna to the kitchen, who sleeps sitting up in... (full context)
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...dispose of the large, eerie crosses left in the abandoned Gordon cottage. As they confer, Anna goes about her household chores and feels left out of their new intimacy. (full context)
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Anna brings her worldly goods to be burned, except for a jerkin that had belonged to... (full context)
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...Gowdie” who has been preying on the villagers’ desperation. Enraged, people start to throw mud; Anna fears that if Mompellion doesn’t do something quickly, they will become a mob. (full context)
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...morning. He tells Brand and Robert to take charge of Aphra until the hearing. Meanwhile, Anna takes Aphra’s daughter, Faith, to her own cottage for the night. (full context)
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Anna remarks that while public punishments are common in larger market towns, where criminals in the... (full context)
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Elinor and Anna take Aphra back to her cottage and begin the difficult task of cleaning her. As... (full context)
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Worried about Faith, Anna returns every day with food and medicine, but Aphra won’t open the door or let... (full context)
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Anna is afraid, but driven by “mother-courage” and desperation to rescue Faith, she goes inside. She... (full context)
Part 2: Deliverance
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Anna avoids Aphra, telling herself there is nothing she can do and feeling as if interaction... (full context)
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Still, Anna says it’s hard for people to “rejoice” at the end of the plague. Only a... (full context)
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...to wait to long, since “not everyone is made as firm of purpose as you.” Anna catches her crying in the library. (full context)
Part 3: Apple-Picking Time
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...her cottage, next to her brothers. Since no one wants Aphra buried within the village, Anna and Brand dig her a grave next to Josiah on the moors. After Anna washes... (full context)
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Anna feels that it’s not in her power to “be a friend” to Mompellion as Elinor... (full context)
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Worrying about Mompellion distracts Anna from her own grief at the loss of her friend. Instead of allowing herself to... (full context)
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The next day, Anna finds Mompellion in Elinor’s room, sweating from standing by her bed so long. She gently... (full context)
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Anna asks Mr. Stanley to console Mompellion, but Stanley is agitated after their interview. He says... (full context)
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The villagers now come to Anna for tonics and medicines, and she takes over the Gowdies’ garden, wondering if “fate” has... (full context)
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...to come to Eyam. Mr. Holbroke, Mompellion’s colleague, visits, but Mompellion will not see him. Anna brings Mompellion news of positive developments, like Mary Hadfield’s marriage to a farrier and a... (full context)
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Anna tells Mompellion that the villagers need his comfort and support, but then realizes this isn’t... (full context)
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Anna resumes her narrative where she left off in the prologue, after Mompellion drops the Bible.... (full context)
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Anna pets Mompellion’s horse, Anteros, and confides her belief that Mompellion has lost his mind. She’s... (full context)
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Anna tells Anteros that the two of them have to make the most of being alive,... (full context)
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When Anna returns, Mompellion has noticed her absence and is waiting for her. He asks if she... (full context)
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The entrance of the frightened stable boy disrupts their kiss. Anna returns to the kitchen and tries to compose herself. Mompellion follows to apologize for his... (full context)
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Mompellion helps Anna with her evening chores, telling her that the hay reminds him of his boyhood, when... (full context)
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In the morning, Anna thinks of Elinor and asks Mompellion if having sex with her reminds him of his... (full context)
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Anna protests that he’s imposed on himself and Elinor a much harsher doctrine of sin and... (full context)
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Anna asks how Mompellion suppressed his own sexual desire, and he says he imitated Catholic priests,... (full context)
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...have saved themselves. Now, he says, he will do as he likes. He reaches for Anna, but she grabs her clothes and escapes the room. (full context)
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Anna stumbles into the churchyard and throws herself on Elinor’s grave. She is angry that Mompellion... (full context)
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Anna hears Mompellion calling for her, and feels a deep repulsion towards him. She runs into... (full context)
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...in premature labor for a day, and the surgeon has given her up for dead. Anna says she will try to save her, even though Elizabeth taunts her for presuming to... (full context)
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Anna finds Mrs. Bradford bleeding profusely, attended by an inexperienced maid. Anna examines her and finds... (full context)
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...expectations, Mrs. Bradford delivers the baby safely and stops bleeding. Looking in the baby’s eyes, Anna knows that this work is enough reason to keep on living. (full context)
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Anna prepares to ride to her cottage and fetch a nettle tonic to strengthen Mrs. Bradford’s... (full context)
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Anna volunteers to adopt the baby. When Elizabeth is reluctant, she says she will move far... (full context)
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After haggling over logistics, Anna returns upstairs to inform Mrs. Bradford of the plan. Mrs. Bradford is grateful that the... (full context)
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At home, Anna packs up her few remaining possessions: Jamie’s jerkin, Elinor’s medical books, and some herbal remedies.... (full context)
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Mompellion says that Anna’s life is in danger from the Bradfords, because she knows both of the existence of... (full context)
Epilogue: The Waves, Like Ridges of Plow’d Land
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Anna reflects on a Margaret Cavendish poem Elinor once showed her, which compared the ocean’s waves... (full context)
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Anna summarizes her journey away from Eyam. Instead of settling at Elinor’s estate, she hires a... (full context)
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For a few days, Anna stays in a Liverpool inn and wonders what she should do to provide for herself... (full context)
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After a tumultuous sea voyage, during which Anna fears death more than once, the ship makes a stop in Oran, Algeria, a city... (full context)
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...well-known doctor living in Oran, who quickly agrees to take her on as an apprentice. Anna becomes one of Ahmed Bey’s wives so that she can live in his house without... (full context)
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Under the direction of Ahmed Bey, Anna learns a far more sophisticated kind of medicine than she has ever known. Unlike the... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Anna becomes accustomed to life in a completely different world from the one she’s always known.... (full context)
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Anna names the Bradford baby Aisha, the Arabic word for both “bread” and “life.” She walks... (full context)