'A Cottage in Shottery' is historical fiction based on fact. Most of the characters, (but not all) are real people and the events described actually happened, although what led up to them, and the eventual outcome, is imaginary. The story is woven around two women in the life of William Shakespeare, his wife and one of his daughters. There are many myths and legend about the Bard and I have chosen just a few, so the story is sometimes controversial'. The novella is divided in two parts with Anne and Judith telling their own stories.
Jane Squibb, a twelve year old, attended Saturday afternoon instruction at Rev. Legh Richmond's house. He used the graves in the churchyard and the beauty of nature to teach the children about God. Jane was little noticed until she became sick, then Rev. Richmond decided to visit her constantly. Little Jane's spiritual maturity exhibited an affectionate seriousness and a knowledge of the Scriptures. "He not only called her as a child to show, by a similitude, what conversion means, but he also called her by his grace to be a vessel of mercy, and a living witness of that almighty power and love by which her own heart was turned to God."-Legh Richmond. This extended edition includes rich scenery descriptions and three illustrations. The appendix includes reports of two visits to the Isle of Wight years afterward.
Legh Richmond was called upon by a naval officer, who had an African servant that desired to be baptized. He proceeded to interview William and found that he had a firm grasp of Christian principals and was indeed worthy of baptism. Impressed with his simple sincere religion, Rev. Richmond took him to a meeting with other Christians. He spoke of his unworthiness and all hearts warmed to him. "This I do know, he was a monument to the Lord's praise. He bore the impression of the Savior's image on his heart, and exhibited the marks of divine grace in his life and conversation, with singular simplicity and unfeigned sincerity."-Legh Richmond speaking of The African Servant. This title is also called The Negro Servant. "The Cottage Conversation" is a narrative about contentment in poverty. "A Visit to the Infirmary" involves a dying old man that is very thankful and wants nothing more but grace to praise the Lord.
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