It’s likely that most EHS 120 students groaned when they found out they had to read a book about Bradley’s founder for a one-credit hour class.
Many most likely chose to not read the book, dismissing it as a waste of time or putting it so far down on the to-do list, it eventually gets forgotten.
“Forgotten Angel” by Allen Upton is a concise history of Lydia Moss Bradley and her legacy, Bradley Polytechnic Institute, now known as Bradley University. The book chronicles her childhood, family, adulthood, death, her effect on the world and, most importantly, the founding of Bradley.
It not only describes Lydia Moss Bradley’s association with Bradley, but it also introduces Edward Sisson, Theodore Burgess, William Harper and Charles Wyckoff, all of whom have buildings named after them on campus.
The book is also incredibly short, detailing Lydia’s 92 years of life in less than 100 pages, which made for quick and easy reading. In fact, reading the entire book took less time than reading one chapter of chemistry. For the small size of the book, it’s amazing how much information about Bradley and its founder were concealed in the pages.
Although the book was a challenge to finish, the story is one all Bradley students should know.
However, it features the kind of dry writing that makes eyes glaze over, bombarding the reader with dates and ages and ancient sounding names. Neverthless, the story moves at a good pace, making the book much better than expected.
While it’s not worth reading again and again, it’s definitely worth reading. It’s eye-opening and intriguing, giving insight into the life and hardships of Lydia Moss Bradley and the obstacles she had to overcome to succeed.
It may not be something anyone from outside Bradley would find interesting, but it’s definitely a must-read for everyone in the Bradley family – not just the freshmen students that were required to read it for EHS.
The biggest problem with the book is its title, “Forgotten Angel.” Since when has Lydia Moss Bradley been forgotten? It’s impossible to live anywhere close to Bradley and not know who founded this wonderful institution we call home. We have Founder’s Day, Lydia’s Lounge, Bradley Hall, Moss Avenue and the Founder’s Circle, complete with a life-size statue of Lydia Moss Bradley. We remember her and honor her every day. She is anything but forgotten at Bradley.
Although the book may get pushed aside time after time, placed at the back of the bookshelf with the bookmark still in the table of contents, eventually, when there is not a calculus test and a 10-page paper due next week, you should read this book. Maybe not now and not next week, but sometime before crossing the stage at graduation, read this book. It really allows you an opportunity to gain better respect for our school and the amazing woman who overcame so much and founded this university.