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The Autobiography of a Slander

Edna Lyall

Book Overview: 

The Autobiography of a Slander exposes the consequences of reckless words or, even worse, intentionally disparaging words. In this moral tale, told from the point of view of "the slander", Edna Lyall (pseudonym used by Ada Ellen Bayley) reveals her ideals and goals in life and relationships.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I am sure it did not enter his head that his two companions were not sincere, or that they did not wish him well.  He was thinking to himself how simple and kindly the Muddleton people were, and how great a contrast this life was to his life in London; and he was saying to himself that he had been a fool to live a lonely bachelor life till he was nearly thirty, and yet congratulating himself that he had done so since Gertrude was but nineteen.  Undoubtedly, he was seeing blissful visions of the future all the time that he replied to the pretty speeches, and shook hands with Lena Houghton, and opened the drawing-room door for her, and took out his watch to assure her that she had plenty of time and need not hurry to church.

Poor Zaluski!  He looked so kindly and pleasant.  Though I was only a slander, and might have been supposed to have no heart at all, I did feel sorry for him when I thought of the future and of the grief and pain which would. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Though parts of this little story are very funny (Mrs. Selldon's dinner party), this book touches on early 1900 Russia's political climate. A good deal here to discuss i.e. the power of words. In some ways, reminded me of Nien Chang and Life and Death in Shanghai.

This is a short story (about 36 pages) told from the perspective of the slander itself, as it grows and is added to over time. A man is accused of many things, starting with anti-social/anti-establishment beliefs and moving on to murder and nihilism, and this story is how these rumors are created an

AmblesideOnline year 11 read. Super short, hyperbolic, entertaining little episode to demonstrate the sad effects of gossip.