This is a dialog window which overlays the main content of the page. The modal begins with a heading 1. Pressing the escape key or X button will close the modal and bring you back to where you were on the page.

The Parlor Fire

Martha remembers the parlor in winter: “On the actual evening of the party I was set to watch the parlor fire so that it would not snap out on the rug. …It was fun enough for me to have the parlor all to myself. …There were the oil paintings in their gleaming gold frames, and the big mirror over the mantel. I could see myself down to my knees in it,—if I stood up on a chair I could even see my feet in it. …There were two big bronze figures that had been wedding presents. Some of the chairs had high carved backs, others were soft, covered with a shade of dark green velvet, like moss in the woods. The fire-screen that my mother had embroidered herself with a big basket of tulips and roses, framed in black walnut, stood on one side. And what I loved most were the long damask curtains that hung way down to the floor and when they were drawn over the French windows made three big splashes of crimson.”

Martha Dickinson Bianchi, “The Recollections of a Country Girl,” unpublished typescript, 67, Martha Dickinson Bianchi Papers, Brown University Library.

A carved overmantle mirror rests on a red marble fireplace. In front is a floral needlepoint firescreen.