Becca Anderson, author of The Book of Awesome Women, has written a new blog post on the life and legacy of the incredible Anne Frank.
If Anne Frank had lived, what would she think of the fact that her diary of the two years her family spent in hiding from the Nazis would go on to become
not only a classic of war literature, but one of the most widely read and loved books of all time? The Diary of Anne Frank is now handed down from one generation to the next, and reading the record of Anne’s emotions has become a rite of passage for the teens of today. It has been translated into more than fifty languages and made into a play and a movie; a new English version published in 1995 restored one-third more material that had been cut out of the original by her father.
Why such popularity? Anne Frank’s diary shows the human face of an inhuman war while it records a young girl’s emotional growth with great insight. When she passed through the walls behind the bookcases into the secret rooms of the attic in Amsterdam, she left her real life behind. At thirteen, Anne became a prisoner and fugitive at once. Torn from her friends at the onset of her teens, she poured her heart into the diary she called “Kitty,” her imaginary friend and confessor. It’s an intense experience for the reader, who knows what Anne couldn’t know—she wouldn’t survive. Anne believed she would make it and shared her hopes and wishes for the children she would one day have. She died in the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen at sixteen.
There is heartbreak also in the realization of what a gift for writing Anne had—it is almost unfathomable that some of the passages were written by an adolescent. Her honesty about her feelings, not all of them noble, is the quality that makes Anne’s diary eternal. Caged in a hidden world, Anne showed us that a life of the mind could be full, no matter what the circumstances. For her courage and optimism, Anne Frank will always be beloved.
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God…. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
The Hunt for Captain Kidd and How He Changed Piracy Forever
Crime and punishment. During his life and even after his death, Captain William Kidd’s name was well known in England and the American colonies. He was infamous for the very crime for which he was hanged, piracy. Rebecca Simon dives into the details of the two-year manhunt for Captain Kidd and the events that ensued. Captain Kidd was hanged in 1701, followed by a massive British-led hunt for all pirates during a period known as the Golden Age of Piracy. Ironically, public executions only increased the popularity of pirates. And, because the American colonies relied on pirates for smuggled goods such as spices, wines, and silks; pirates tended to be protected from capture.