A Daughter of the Middle Border

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Macmillan, 1921 - Authors, American - 405 pages
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Pulitzer Prize-winning sequel to A Son of the Middle Border continues the author's autobiographical theme and deals sensitively with Garland's marriage and later career, as well as the challenges of pioneer life in 19th-century mid-America.

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User Review  - m.belljackson - LibraryThing

Hamlin Garland opens up life in both Wisconsin and the mountains out West the late 1800s, then proceeds to illuminate Chicago and New York City in the early 1900s. An early believer in equal marriage ... Read full review

A daughter of the middle border

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this brace of literary autobiographies (the individual titles were released in 1921 and 1917, respectively), the Pulitzer Prize-winning Garland unfurled his life growing up in Wisconsin farm ... Read full review

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Page 256 - Garland interviewed the participants on both sides shortly after the events, much as he had done with the incident that became the basis of The Captain of the Gray-Horse Troop. Later Garland wrote of its composition: With a mere love-story I had never been content. For me a sociological background was necessary in order to make fiction worth while, and I was minded to base my next novel on a study of the "war...
Page 28 - Coolly, published during this year, was attacked quite as savagely as Main Traveled Roads had been, and this criticism saddened and depressed me. With a foolish notion that the Middle West should take a moderate degree of pride in me, I resented this condemnation. "Am I not making in my small way the same sort of historical record of the west that Whittier and Holmes secured for New England?" I asked my friends. "Am I not worthy of an occasional friendly word, a message of encouragement?
Page 257 - Roads and its companion volumes a group of thirty short stories (written between 1887 and 1891), in which I had expressed all I had to say on that especial phase of western life. To attempt to recover the spirit of my youth would not only have been a failure but a bore — even to those who were urging me to the task. It was my business to keep moving — to accompany my characters as they migrated into the happier, more hopeful West. Like them I was "Campin' through, podner, just a campin
Page 21 - From the plains, which were becoming each year more crowded, more prosaic...
Page 393 - ... better reason be called a romanticist. Like lads romantic, he paused, tired to the bone from plowing, to read of dukes and duchesses and of people with charmed lives. . . . Although he pictures his boyhood as hard, still the book probably considered his masterpiece, A Son of the Middle Border...
Page 319 - Oh ! my poor Nelly Gray, they have taken you away, And I'll never see my darling any more...
Page 87 - ... a memory, and that Western society, which had long been dominated by the stately figures of the minister and the judge, was on its way to adopt the manners and customs of the openly derided but secretly admired "four hundred." To abandon western dress was to part company with Walt Whitman, Joaquin Miller, John Burroughs, and other illustrious non-conformists to whom long beards, easy collars, and short coats were natural and becoming. To take the other was to follow Lowell and Stedman and Howells....
Page 94 - What will they say of you in Wisconsin, when they hear of your appearance in the livery of the oppressor?" A literary dinner provided a subdued and formal setting: Sitting there in the face of hundreds of English authors I achieved a peaceful satisfaction with my outfit. A sense of being entirely inconspicuous, a realization that I was committed to convention, produced in me an air of perfect ease. By conforming I had become as much a part of the scene as Sir Walter or tlie waiter who shifted my...
Page 211 - You have made a good start in Main Traveled Roads, and Rose of Dutcher's Cooly, but you should do more with it. It is a noble background." Gilder, on the other hand, advised him to develop his romantic writings. "Gilder, who met me on the street soon after our arrival in New York, spoke to me in praise of Her Mountain Lover." 'I predict a great success for it. It has beauty ' here he smiled. 'I am always preaching "beauty" to you, but you need it! You should remember that the writing which is beautiful...
Page 89 - My surrender was coincidental with similar changes of thought in millions of other young men throughout the West. It was but another indication that the customs of the Border were fading to a memory, and that Western society, which had long been dominated by the stately figures of the minister and the judge, was on its way to adopt the manners and customs of the openly derided but secretly admired "four hundred.

About the author (1921)

Hamlin Garland was born and raised on pioneer farms in the upper Midwest, and his earliest and best fiction (most of it collected in Main Travelled Roads, 1891) deals with the unremitting hardship of frontier life---angry, realistic stories about the toil and abuses to which farmers of the time were subjected. As his fiction became more popular and romantic, its quality seriously declined, and Garland is remembered today chiefly for a handful of stories, such as "Under the Lion's Paw" and "Rose of Dutcher's Coolly." His only contribution to literary theory is Crumbling Idols (1894), in which he argued for an art that was truthful, humanitarian, and rooted in a specific locale. The first volume of his autobiography, A Son of the Middle Border (1917), was followed by the much-admired second volume, A Daughter of the Middle Border (1921), which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. He published several other volumes of reminiscence, all of which are once more available with the reprinting of the 45-volume collection of his works.

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