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THE NEW YORK

PUBLIC LIBRARY

281187B

ASTOR, LENOY AND
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
R
1944

L

Copyright, 1920, by Ruth Van Saun

Copyright in Great Britain and
Dependencies, and Continental Countries.

All Rights Reserved.

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A FRIEND'S INTRODUCTION

"The Greatest Book Of The Century, said one eminent psychologist, teacher and author, when he read the manuscript of Ruth Van Saun's book

I don't know whether this be true or not! I have not read all the books that have appeared in the last 99 years.

But I have read thousands, and I can truthfully say there are few books in literature that have met my eye that are as remarkable and wonderful as the hivedhoney or soul-wisdoms of The Honey Comb.

In the pages of this book, --which cover the nine months of gestation, the number 9 symbolizing the finished work or child,-a Woman of insight, of vision, of knowledge, of experience, of courage, has dared to say what few men dare even think. She has explained, unfolded, expounded, the inner-nıysteries of Womanhood, Manhood, Sex-Life. Here is no mincing of matters; no Jainty, delicate hinting at things. A spade is plainly called a spade, and facts are recited with a straight directness that goes to the bull's-eye like a rifle-bullet fired from the gun of an expert. Yet, withal, there is a pure, true, feminine-sweetness and delicacy in all that is said. If I might adopt the words of Rev. C. C. Pierce, I could truthfully affirm as he has done in a letter to the writer:

* Into this marvelous field you have gone with the enthusiasm of the Mother, the sweetness of the Lover, the courage of the Pioneer, the earnestness of the Hero, and the charm of the Poet. I doubt if anything so great on this fascinating subject has ever before been written.”

It is a book no man could have written, either in its facts and experiences, or in its phraseology and style. These are peculiarly the writer's own. She has several idiosyncracies of manner that, at first, will surprise, and perhaps astound and irritate the reader. She insists upon capitalizing some words in some places, and not in others; she insists that the word Woman, when standing for the Universal Feminine, be spelled with a capital; she enjoys linking or hyphenating words that are generally written separately; she indulges, now and again, in baby talk. She follows archaic styles, and does not seem to care a rap whether she writes in any accepted” style or not.

Another of her peculiarities is that she compels the reader to know words—unfamiliar words--not only their symbolical meaning, but their mystical sounds. She contends that the very pronunciation of certain words produces decisive and positive mental and spiritual effects, and that their full significance can be known only when one listens to their secret and inner-tones.

Yet these are but the distinguishing and peculiar features of the “words, or outward clothing, of the book. The method of thought is no less individualistic, strikirg and peculiar. While much of the book is plain, direci, straight-from-the-shoulder talk,--that will give every man and woman who reads it carefully a jolt, a real electric shock, a genuine awakening,--the author occasionally indulges in rhapsodizing of a very personal, intimate and rarely delicate nature. She is supposed to be an expectant mother, susceptible to all the influences, good and evil, excitable and irritating, generally noticed in a woman of this condition, and, apparently unconsciously, but with a vividity and reality that are starling in their truthfulness to life itself, she has introduced these very characteristics into her book. It splashes with April showers and sunshine, with caprice and wilfulness, with wit and humor, satire and irony, sarcasm and direct denunciation-in some cases as powerfully voiced as are the words of the old Hebrew Prophets.

Now and again she falls into rhapsodizing upon her unborn babe, her girlhood days, Christmas and Thanksgiving times, the old barn at home, the apple orchard, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and the like. Her poetic imagery, delicate touches of description and rare insight are equal to those of the nature poets, and of such writers as Carlyle, Thoreau, Burroughs, John Muir, and Fabre.

Again she drops into dialogue with her unborn babe

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