Free Classics: “A Speckled Bird” by Augusta Evans Wilson

Every Friday, Marilyn Knapp Litt, who blogs at, brings us her recommendation of a free classic book to discover (or rediscover) on Kindle. Find more of Marilyn’s recommendations at her blog,, a guide to the best free and inexpensive classic literature for the Kindle. You can also get Marilyn’s blog on Kindle and I recommend that you “Like” the Classic Kindle Facebook page as well so you don’t miss anything. Here’s Marilyn’s post:

You know those rare books that you pick up and are captivated by the first lines? That is what I found in A Speckled Bird by Augusta Evans Wilson.

“Grandma, who named me Eglah?”

“My cousin, Bishop Vivian, when he baptized you.”

“Do you think he had any right to put such a label on me?”

“Certainly, because your father selected your name, and the bishop had no choice.”

“It is so ugly, I never can like it, and a little baby that can’t speak her mind ought not to be tied to something she must drag all her life and hate for ever and ever.”

“Eat your breakfast, and try to be a good, quiet child, then your name will not trouble you so much.”

“I never shall like it, any more than you do, and you know, grandma, when you call me your mouth twists like you had toothache.”

I can sympathize with “Eglah.” I had an aunt named Orga. I never heard her say she did not like her name, but it is never on any baby name lists.

This is one of those novels about an orphan left in the care of a grandmother who has no love for her. It is also a political novel, in that Eglah moves to Washington D.C.

“Is social life in Washington disappointing?”

“That is scarcely the right term. Life is certainly very brilliant, and gay and panoramic, and I enjoy music and dancing, and some dinner parties; above all, I find keen pleasure in following a spirited debate in the House, or listening to speeches in the Senate, but sometimes I catch myself wondering if this is indeed all—the veritable kernel of society, politics, diplomacy, or merely the shell partly cracked. Life here and in Washington does not seem so absolutely real as it was at home, at Nutwood.”

If you visit the Capital, you are unlikely to travel around by trap, but some things never change!

Download your free copy of “A Speckled Bird” by Augusta Evans Wilson here >>

Comments are closed.