Dragon's blood by Rideout, Henry Milner, 1877-1927

Dragon's blood by Rideout, Henry Milner, 1877-1927

by Henry Milner Rideout
     
 

Henry Milner Rideout (1877-1927) was a native of Calais, Maine. Author of sixteen novels, twenty-three short stories and novellas, and a biographical memoir, he also was editor of one college textbook, as well as co-editor of three others. Many of his stories appeared in The Saturday Evening Post.

In a 1920 essay titled "The National Letters," H.L. Mencken…  See more details below

Overview

Henry Milner Rideout (1877-1927) was a native of Calais, Maine. Author of sixteen novels, twenty-three short stories and novellas, and a biographical memoir, he also was editor of one college textbook, as well as co-editor of three others. Many of his stories appeared in The Saturday Evening Post.

In a 1920 essay titled "The National Letters," H.L. Mencken said,

“ One constantly observes the collapse and surrender of writers who started out with aims far above that of the magazine nabob. I could draw up a long, long list of such victims: Henry Milner Rideout, Jack London, Owen Johnson, Chester Baily Fernald. . . . ”

Yet a study of Rideout's life reveals that his literary career was more like a workman following traditions of honest craftsmanship. Rideout's Far Eastern voyage also fits into his Down East heritage. Maine Rideouts had been shipbuilders since the late seventeenth century. They were lumbermen who cut the trees to build those ships. Some were farmers who made the most of the resources of the Maine coast by building a family schooner to venture to China or India on a trading voyage. Rideout set out to seek literary treasure on the other side of the world. With workmanlike modesty, Rideout spoke of his stories as his "yarns." Even when he became well known, he never saw himself as a literary figure, and he despised coteries, literary movements, and intellectual snobbery.

Rideout's fiction drew from two different sources: Maine background, or exotic background. Though his most acclaimed work is in the former vein, yet toward the end of his life he did equally well with a group of traditional Chinese tales told him at the Sausalito kitchen table by his friend Pan Ruguei. Those stories were collected as Tao Tales. John Macy said in a 1928 review that Rideout set the Chinese stories in "enticingly classic English."

The classical training absorbed at Harvard shows in the commemorative ode commissioned from Rideout for the Tercentennial Anniversary of the settlement of Saint Croix Island, Maine in 1904. Moreover, that ode, alone of all the Tercentennial speeches and formalities, makes mention of Native Americans. This awareness shows in his college friendship with William Jones, the Native-American anthropologist who died in the Philippines in 1909. (William Morrow and Raynal Bolling commissioned Rideout to write a memorial biography of Jones.) Rideout's last published work was an adventure story, Lola the Bear, set in the Maine woods among tribal people with whom Rideout had hunted and fished since boyhood.

Rideout was a man who found ordinary people more interesting than high society. For example, he made friends with the engineer of a Cunard liner rather than with the first class passengers in the salon of that liner. He loathed cities, and his fictional heroes were country people and working men. The heroine of his late novel, Barbry, was an indentured servant girl.

It is appropriate that Maine lumberjack songs and sea chanteys recorded by Rideout are preserved on wax cylinders in the archive of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The Dictionary of American Biography contains an entry for Henry Milner Rideout with information supplied by his widow.

In his valedictory 1928 review, John Macy pays tribute to Rideout's work:

“ The masculinity of substance and manner sets Rideout's New England tales apart from the exquisite idylls of Mary Wilkins, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Alice Brown. He has their ear for the familiar speech of country people, but his intellectual fiber is more close-knit and tough than their charming homespun. On the other side it is equally far from the tar-and-tarpaulin kind of fiction...

summary by wikipedia.org

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012521484
Publisher:
Nook Ebook
Publication date:
05/05/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
462 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >