Brilliantly executed. Strong poses, clean lines; full of atmosphere. You should illustrate literature (pardon me if you already have), you' d be fantastic! You'd have a ball with the likes of Hawthorne and Poe.
I love the clean lines and the very emotional story being told here in the picture! My guess? Stern Puritan father is lecturing his daughters about unruly girls and is making the older one read a Bible passage. Must have been a real Jonathan Edwards type sermon because the older one is weeping and the younger is on her knees. Oh, yeah, the switch. Probably just a prop for emphasis. Despite their "Spare the rod, spoil the child" sayings, in reality most Puritan parents chose other methods to keep the children in line. However, as a prop, that would make quite a statement!