"With your help I could endure any pain. I wonder," he went on, in a lower voice, as though thinking aloud, "if this strength of yours could inspire me to bear the worst pain there could be for me, - I mean, if I had to make you suffer in any way?" Helen looked down at him, surprised, not quite understanding. "Suppose," he said, - "of course one can suppose anything, - that for your best good I had to make you suffer: could I, do you think?" -from John Ward, Preacher The fiction of 19th-century novelist Margaret Deland was greatly concerned with the particular challenges faced by the women in her era: the fight for suffrage, the public disgrace of single motherhood, and the secret shame of adultery. Her first novel, 1888's John Ward, Preacher, is her most sensational, a story of a Calvinist minister, his freethinking wife, Helen, and their clash over religious doctrine-and in particular the concept of eternal damnation-that ultimately destroys them. A daring and original work about a woman asserting her intellectual independence, this is a lost classic that will electrify readers of American feminist literature. American poet and novelist MARGARET DELAND (1857-1945) was a contributor to Harper's Magazine. She also wrote the novels Sidney (1890), Philip and His Wife (1894), and The Awakening of Helena Richie (1906), among others. Old Chester Tales (1898) is a collection of her short fiction.