Alice Vale

"Mr. Winchester," said she, "you once thought it no disgrace to be seen in public with Miss Graves; and, if she is not what she then was, it is your own work."


"Mercy is God's favorite attribute," continued Mr. Shelton.

"And justice is mine," replied Porter: "accord to us justice, and we shall need less mercy."

I will be the first to admit that I am quite the skeptic as to the existence of spirits or mediums. And as to any mention of Phrenology—well! But is that a reason to dismiss a reasonably entertaining novel which incorporates those elements? Of course not. There are elements of Ayn Rand's Objectivism which appeal to me, yet I roll my eyes so much more at think-tank manipulators of those principles than I do at some of the more corny, melodramatic moments in Atlas Shrugged, a novel which I thoroughly enjoyed for its own sake.

Lois Waisbrooker was a radical feminist, anarchist, and spiritualist who was arrested more than once for circulating "obscene" material [read: any reference to Women's Rights]. There can be no doubt that Alice Vale was constructed as an apology for "modern Spiritualism"—a bit short on plot and long on sermon—yet what struck me in the first few pages was its direct and relevant jabs at societal norms. I was drawn in right away, and no didactic discourse in the novel genuinely chased me away. On the contrary, I sat in my deck chair and enjoyed the cruise, as I was transcribing it.

The text is taken from this scan of the 1869 edition, and checked against this scan of the 1871 edition. Where the later edition differs, it is honored as the definitive text. Otherwise, any obvious typographical errors are corrected, and in one instance, a word is added in brackets in order to fix a bad sentence.

So here it is: the master HTML version, the home-brew Kindle version, and the actual Amazon publication.

As Silas Porter says, "Another can not eat for us, can not drink for us."

April 26, 2021



When I first discovered Charles Frederick Briggs, I did not guarantee that I would transcribe all of his works, but as of this moment I have produced editions of his three major novels. The following is a list of Lois Waisbrooker's novels and novellas for which I have found online resources. Again, I cannot guarantee that I shall produce editions of all of them, but I can say that I've already begun work on Nothing Like It, and am seriously eyeing The Wherefore Investigating Company, which although will involve considerably more transcription by hand—comparable to the effort I put into The Trippings of Tom Pepper—may also prove quite worthy.

Helen Harlow's Vow (1870)

Nothing Like It (1875)

Perfect Motherhood (1889)

A Sex Revolution (1893)

The Wherefore Investigating Company (1894)
[published in Foundation Principles, V4N1 - V4N12 (Jul 1893 - Apr 1894)]

ffred's nearly-forgotten treasures