“What would become of the wilderness without flapjacks? They are the beginning and the end of all things; they are the game by which we live and move and have our being. He who has experienced the joys of flapjacks and maple sirup, has not lived in vain. The two combined are enough to put one in a good humor without original sin. Suppose we do eat everything off the same plate, suppose we are reduced to two-pronged forks, and our blouses for a napkin, what matters it, if we are happy? And we are happy. The recollection of those flapjacks endures until the next meal, when we renew our attentions with the ardor of a lover whose inamorata is good enough to eat!”
–Kate Field “In and Out of the Woods” a piece about her time in the Adirondacks, in The Atlantic Almanac for 1870
Kate Field (1838-1896) was a journalist, travel writer, lecturer, singer, actress, playwright, woman of business, publisher of a weekly newspaper, and social reformer. In addition to writing for newspapers such as the Boston Post, Chicago Tribune and the New York Tribune, she championed many causes, including the preservation of John Brown’s farm and burial place, greater rights for women, temperance (as opposed to prohibition), a memorial theater for Shakespeare in Stratford, England, and the exposure of the Mormon church’s disregard for U.S. law and authority in Utah. Her friends and admirers included Charles Dickens, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, Alexander Graham Bell, and Henry James, who used her as a model for Henrietta Stackpole in The Portrait of a Lady (1881).
This painting of Kate Field is by Francis Davis Millet (1846-1912), first shown at the 1881 exhibition of the National Academy of Design in New York, and today in the collection of the Boston Public Library. Millet, a friend of Ms. Field, died at the sinking of the Titanic.