Through journal entries, letters, and images of souvenirs long preserved, a deeply moving look into the life of a Victorian-era Harvard student and his timeless love for his wife, whose unexpected death left him bereft and caused him to commit suicide.
Francis Ellingwood Abbot met Kate Loring when he was a sophomore at Harvard, and he asked her father for her hand on the day that he first kissed her. Although her father would not permit the marriage until Frank and Katie graduated, the two courted and corresponded with all the fervour of those magical first days.
The pages of Abbot's journal describe his love affair with honesty and passion - and his courtship of Kate Loring is recounted with a remarkable sense of immediacy. With humour and wit, he also records the many timeless facets of college life - from hazing to college food.
After Harvard, Abbot went on to become a Unitarian minister and a scholar of philosophy and religion. Through geographical separations, the death of one of their babies, and other trials, Frank and Katie's love remained powerful and steadfast, and their correspondence is enormously revealing of their emotions and their historical milieu.
As time passed, neither their devotion nor their lively and prolific correspondence nor Frank's careful recording of their lives together faded.
When Katie died in 1893, Abbot became crippled by grief. On the tenth anniversary of her death, he went to her grave with a bouquet of carnations and committed suicide.
Abbot's journals provide a poignant and perceptive glimpse into college life in the late 19th century, while the story of his love affair with Kate Loring transcends time as a tale of passion and tragedy. Along with a carefully chosen selection of transcribed journal entries and letters, the book contains images of the actual pages of the journals, studded with pressed flowers, daguerreotypes, poems, and other gems.
A living, breathing relic that will evoke nostalgia for the letter-writing, trinket-giving, chivalrous times in which they lived, Frank and Katie's story paints a charming picture of a gentler time and an unending love.