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Twenty Years At Hull-House

             The book Twenty Years At Hull-House is the reminiscences of an extraordinary woman who has just reached another of life's milestones. Jane Addams, the author wrote this book in her fiftieth year because she felt the efforts and accomplishments were "worthy- of literary significance and to dispel two other biographies that made her life at Hull-House seem charming and easy. Jane Addams wrote with such clarity and dignity that it was easy for this reader to see into the lives of those who sought refuge and hope at Hull-House and of those residents who fought for the civil rights. Many of the residence of Hull-House were inspired to become involved in the development of positive changes in the lives of everyone. .
             Jane Addams was born on September 6, 1860 to John and Sarah Addams in the small town of Cedarville, Illinois. Jane's mother died when she was very young. John was a wealthy gristmill owner and a sixteen-year Illinois state senator. Jane's father, although remarried when she was eight years of age was her sole supervising source therefore, her greatest influence. Jane's childhood was pleasant however, she always fretted over embarrassing her father by what she felt were her own physical flaws. Henry Steele Commager wrote the FORWORD in Twenty Years At Hull-House states, " she was herself a misfit "so she felt anyway "" an ugly, pigeon-toed little girl whose crooked back obliged her to walk with her head held very much upon one side,"" who was constantly afraid that she might embarrass the handsome father she adored."" Due to these concerns a strong bond grew with her accepting confidant and kind mentor, uncle James.
             Jane reflected back to her first experience of death at age fifteen when Polly, an old nurse who had cared for and followed her mother to Illinois to raise a second generation of children, died. During one of Polly's annual visits to her cousins, the Addams' were notified that she was taken ill.

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