Vein of Iron

Front Cover
University of Virginia Press, 1935 - Fiction - 408 pages
3 Reviews
"Ellen Glasgow considered Vein of Iron, published in 1935, to be her best work. "No novel has ever meant quite so much to me," she wrote a friend. The critics agreed; the book was favorably reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review and outsold all but one other work of fiction in the year of its publication." "Opening in the years just before the First World War and laid in the Valley of Virginia, the book traces the experience of a family with four generations of strong women. Faced with a crisis when the bread-winner, a philosopher-minister, is defrocked for his unorthodox views, the women provide the "vein of iron" which carries the family through removal to Richmond (Queensboro in the book), through war and depression until the final return to the mountains."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Vein of Iron

User Review  - Tom Leland - Goodreads

"In that noonday of a planned tomorrow, when science has bared the last mysteries of the human entrails, and the closed cells of spontaneous generation are opened in public view -- in that morning ... Read full review

Review: Vein of Iron

User Review  - Greta Roussos - Goodreads

Tough times are described well in Ellen Glasgows' story of the 20s & 30s in the Valley of Virginia. Friendly to a womans' experience and perspective,thus uncommonly good. Read full review

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 412 - The novel was displayed in bookstore windows in every city and reviewed on the front page of The New York Times Book Review, and within a month of publication, it hit the bestseller list.

References to this book

About the author (1935)

Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow (April 22, 1873 -November 21, 1945) was an American novelist who portrayed the changing world of the contemporary south. Glasgow was born in Richmond, Virginia, of a mother who traced her ancestry to the Cavalier settlers of Tidewater Virginia and a father who descended from the Scotch-Irish of the Shenandoah Valley. She was a writer whose divided background helps explain her ability to combine romantic sensibility with tough-minded realism. For the Virginia Edition of her works, published by Scribner in 1938 and now out of print, she chose 12 of her 18 novels and divided them into two main groups. What she called "novels of character and comedies of manners" consist of five works: The Battle-Ground (1902); The Deliverance (1904); They Stooped to Folly (1929); Virginia (1913); and Barren Ground (1925). The remaining seven novels she grouped under the heading "social history in the form of fiction." Covering almost 100 years of life in the Old Dominion, they are perhaps better read in historical sequence rather than the order in which they were originally published: The Miller of Old Church (1911); The Romantic Comedians (1926); The Voice of the People (1900); The Romance of a Plain Man (1909); Life and Gabriella (1916); The Sheltered Life (1932); and Vein of Iron (1935). The new prefaces that she wrote for each volume of the Virginia Edition form a valuable record of her literary growth and a treatise on novel writing that compares favorably with the prefaces that Henry James wrote for the New York Edition of his works. With the addition of an introduction to the one novel she published subsequently, the Pulitzer Prize-winning In This Our Life (1941), these prefaces were brought together and published as A Certain Measure (1943). The Woman Within (1954), her own story of her inner life, parallels her fiction in its account of a courageous woman who refused to become a victim of the outmoded codes of chivalry and male domination that characterized the Old South of her heritage. She remains a transitional figure of considerable importance in the literary history of America.

Bibliographic information