Chapter 8 Summary

Now, a brief history of Ellen Olenska's life is offered. Olenska had been considered a pretty child, born to parents who had been dubbed "continental wanderers." They had died while Ellen was still a baby. Afterward, Ellen was taken in by her aunt, Medora Manson, who was also a wanderer.

Medora was a woman cursed in marriage. She was widowed at least three times and after each, became poorer. Most people felt sorry for little Ellen when they learned that Medora was her sponsor. Medora was very eccentric and disliked to participate in any of the acceptable social practices. For instance, she wore the wrong clothes while in mourning and dressed Ellen in bright colors. Ellen was thus considered a peculiar child, but people...

(The entire section is 550 words.)