- The Holy Experiment: Our Heritage from William Penn; Series of Mural Paintings in the Governor's Reception Room, in the Senate Chamber, and in the Supreme Courtroom of the State Capitol at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U. S. A. (review)
- Bulletin of Friends' Historical Association
- Friends Historical Association
- Volume 40, Number 1, Spring 1951
- pp. 54-55
- View Citation
- Additional Information
54Bulletin of Friends Historical Association She now holds her readers from the founding right through the first century as she tells die magnificent struggle of courageous women (and men) to open up the practice of medicine to die fairer sex. It is a glorious story of real pioneering. Running all through diis history are Quaker names and faces and concerns. Lucretia and James Mott were prime movers and James was one of the original group of twenty-one Trustees, all men! Joseph S. Longshore was the first Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children on the original faculty of six professors and a dean. Longstreth, Naylor, Fussell, Warrington, Elder, Corson, Ann Preston and Hannah Longshore were the first in the long line of Friends connected with this remarkable institution. The first century was not an easy one but surely it built the solid foundations for the world-famed center now on the hill at Henry Avenue and Abbotsford Road in Germantown, Philadelphia. This is not a review in die usual form. It is an invitation to share vicariously in an experience worthy of recording. The author, naturally of Quaker background , with die names of the Mother of Quakerism and the wife of Pennsylvania's founder, "a woman of Ten Thousand," given to her by her Haverford father, spent most of her own active medical practice as the medical officer of Barnard College. At die start of the second century it still remains true that at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania "a woman of determination, ability and courteous demeanor will here be able to go as far as her talents and training can take her" into die world of medicine as a woman and as a physician. Overbrook, PhiladelphiaRichmond P. Miller The Holy Experiment: Our Heritage from William Penn; Series of Mural Paintings in the Governor's Reception Room, in the Senate Chamber, and in the Supreme Courtroom of the State Capitol at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U. S. A. By Violet Oakley. Philadelphia: Cogslea Studio. [cl950]. 158 pages. $7.50 (subscription only). A S ONE might expect of a work published in a limited edition, Violet Oakley's The Holy Experiment is a handsome book, almost a sumptuous one. The format and type-face are a feast for the eyes. The publication was intended to appear in 1944 to celebrate the tercentenary of the birth of William Penn. Owing to its delayed appearance, Miss Oakley has been able to include excerpts from speeches made during the tercentenary celebrations—a somewhat dubious advantage. "Our heritage from William Penn," the book's central theme, is represented by reproductions of drawings made by the author from her cycles of Book Reviews55 murals in the State Capitol at Harrisburg entitled The Founding of the State of Liberty Spiritual, The Creation and Preservation of the Union, and The Opening of the Book of the Law. The drawings are supported by quotations from the Bible and other pertinent sources. William Penn's participation in the events represented in the first cycle and his influence upon those in the second and diird are amplified by quotations from documents relating to him and from his writings. The whole is an encouraging reminder to those who work for peace in these difficult days of the rich spiritual heritage which is theirs to draw upon for sustenance and authority. It is ungracious to criticize this excellent effort, yet a few discrepancies of quality should be mentioned. An occasional passage written by the author indicates a straining to sustain exaltation of mood which seems to have produced a mannerism of unnecessarily inverted phrases. This slightly inflated style invites invidious comparisons with the straightforward style of other writers within die same book. The drawings seem especially suited to book illustration, many being charming and intimate rather than monumental. Others indicate by breadth of conception and design their derivation from large-scale murals. Particularly noteworthy in this respect are "The Prophecy of William Penn," especially the allegorical figure of Unity, and the more informal "Penn Meets the Quakers." The dramatic separation of Penn from his father has, unfortunately, been reduced to a bit of sentimental genre. With the exception of the...