Ann Plato was born sometime around 1820, and no one knows when she died. In fact, the only documented details of her life are that she wrote a book, titled Essays: Including Biographies and Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose and Poetry, and that the book was unpopular. Her work was composed in the vein of her Puritan upbringing, focusing on such cliché religious topics as benevolence, education, and employment. "Cliché" is also how most critics have categorized her writing, calling it unoriginal and morally idealistic. They have also taken issue with her omission of the topic of slavery--a subject popular among her better-known African-American contemporaries--though she briefly alluded to the West Indies once. That's not to say she doesn't have some legacy: a fellowship has been set up in her name to aide minority doctoral students at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
The votaries of fame may acquire a sort of insensibility to death and its consequences. But he alone whose peace is made with God, can walk with composure through the gloomy valley of the shadow of death, and fear no evil.
The graves before me, and all around me, are thickly deposited. The marble that speak the names, bid us prepare for Death.
Patrick Madden's New Book
Quotidiana site founder Patrick Madden has just published a book of his own personal essays, including pieces formerly published in the Best American Spiritual Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction anthologies.
If you enjoy the classical essays on this site, you'll enjoy these contemporary ruminations as well. Soon there'll be a web page here with further information, but for now, you can find out more (and perhaps purchase a copy) at Amazon.com.
"Patrick Madden is an essayist of verve, passion, wit, and dependable moral compass. Quotidiana drew me in powerfully, from page to page and from pleasure to pleasure." —Ian Frazier
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Quotidiana is an online anthology of "classical" essays, from antiquity to the early twentieth century. All essays and images are in the public domain. Commentaries are copyrighted, but may be used with proper attribution. Special thanks to the BYU College of Humanities and English Department for funding, and to Joey Franklin and Lara Burton, for tireless research assisting.