Idomen, or The Vale of Yumuri cover

Idomen, or The Vale of Yumuri

Maria Gowen Brooks (1794-1845)

1. Preface
2. Prologue
3. The Fireside
4. The Stranger
5. The Discovery
6. The Confessions 1
7. The Confessions 2
8. The Confessions 3
9. The Confessions 4
10. The Confessions 5
11. The Confessions 6
12. The Confessions 7
13. The Confessions 8
14. The Confessions 9
15. The Confessions 10
16. The Catastrophe
17. Epilogue
18. Notes

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Summary

Idomen (1843) is the creative-nonfiction memoir of the beautiful and brilliant American poetess Maria Gowen Brooks, who was compared in the 19th century to Byron and Swinburne. In it she tells the story of an ill-fated love affair she had twenty years earlier while traveling with her young son in Canada following the death of her much older husband. The traumatic breakup led to suicide attempts on her part, which romantic masochist Brooks byronically relates in full, albeit changing everybody's name. Herself she calls Idomen, which is apparently idiomatic Greek for "we shall see" – as indeed we shall! (Incidentally, the well-traveled Brooks had inherited a plantation in Cuba upon the death of her brother from malaria and went back there to live after Idomen was published, only to die of the same disease herself not long after.)