Winthrop and Elizabeth, the principal characters, embody noble virtue and demonstrate the duties of Christian life and character. As the author once put it, "He who serves God with what costs him nothing, will do very little service, you may depend on it." This is Volume I of the work. Susan Bogert Warner was an American author of religious fiction, children's fiction, and theologigical works. Writing as "Elizabeth Wetherall," she wrote over thirty novels. Her first, The Wide, Wide World, was most popular, and was translated into French, German and Dutch. She also wrote with her younger sister Anna Bartlett Warner and the sisters wrote Christian songs.