“If I could write a story that would do for the Indian a thousandth part of what Uncle Tom’s Cabin did for the Negro,” wrote Helen Hunt Jackson, “I would be thankful the rest of my life.” Jackson surpassed this ambition with the publication of Ramona, her popular 1884 romantic bestseller.
A beautiful half Native American, half-Scottish orphan raised by a harsh Mexican ranchera, Ramona enters into a forbidden love affair with a heroic Mission Indian named Alessandro. The pair’s adventures after they elope paint a vivid portrait of California history and the woeful fate of Native Americans and Mexicans whose lands and rights were stripped as Anglo-Americans overran southern California.
Set from the first American edition of 1884, this Modern Library Paperback Classic includes José Martí’s 1888 prologue (translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen).
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ain’t arms asked Aunt Ri Baba baby baby’s beautiful Benito Cahuilla Capitan Carmena Century of Dishonor child cried Ramona dead dear door exclaimed eyes face Father Gaspara Father Salvierderra Felipe’s felt Franciscan gazed girl gone hand Hartsel head hear heard heart Helen Hunt Jackson horse hour Indian Injun José Juan Canito knew land laughed live look Majella Margarita married Mexican mind Mission morning mother naow never night replied Alessandro replied Ramona Saboba saints San Bernardino San Diego San Jacinto San Jacinto Mountain San Pasquale Santa Barbara seemed seen Señor Felipe Señora Moreno Señorita Ramona sheepshearing side sight speak spoke stay stood strange sure tell Temecula terror thet Thet’s thing thought told tomorrow tone turned valley veranda village voice walked whispered window wish woman wonder words yeow Ysidro