Posted by Christina.
Beigh Masters has “devoted eleven years” to the study “of a [single] person”—Hannah Easton Fitch Legge, an interesting but relatively obscure woman dead for three centuries (138). Hannah began as a footnote to Beigh’s search for the elusive Emperor’s Tear, but quickly became her main obsession.
Hannah predicted that “her life would reside in other people’s stories” (199). Beigh is both a captive audience and compiler of them. Although they are distantly related, something beyond blood motivates Beigh to assume the task of learning Hannah’s history and perpetuating her memory. Perhaps, just as Hannah was captivated by the new, “brilliantly hued world[s]” she found herself in, Beigh admiringly views Hannah’s life as a “richer life” than her own (171, 222). Continue reading