Lawrence Lessig - "a brilliant agile mind - absolutely extraordinarily prolific writer and speaker and above all an advocate for all the right things"
"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of a thinking power called an idea ... no one possesses the less of it because every other possesses the whole of it ... as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening mine" -- Thomas Jefferson
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The work opens with an unnamed narrator listening to the reading of a manuscript written many years ago by a now dead young governess. The governess relates that soon after arriving to work in the house she learns that her predecessor had died under mysterious circumstances. As the tale unfolds the reader has room to doubt the reality of the evil that the governess feels is approaching.
The Underground Railroad says of itself: "An authentic record of the wonderful hardships, hairbreadth escapes, and death struggles which mark the track from slavery to freedom in the United States." The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes helping African Americans escape to 'free states' or Canada. Between 1810 and 1850 the Railroad may have moved as many 100,000 people to freedom.
One of the first and finest "sensation novels", the story begins when the protagonist, Walter Hartright, encounters a mysterious woman dressed all in white on a moonlit road in Hampstead. She is confused and in distress, and Hartright helps her to find her way back to London. In return she gives him a warning. Soon after, Hartright learns that she might have escaped from an asylum. The story is told by a succession of character, each with different motivations and agendas.
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