The Hardscrabble Chronicles

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Overview

For thirty years, from 1923 until 1953, legendary Field & Stream columnist Corey Ford owned the Lower Forty in a small New England town that he dubbed "Hardscrabble" to shield its identity. He regaled millions of readers with colorful stories of its eccentric and eclectic townsfolk. Now, with The Hardscrabble Chronicles, Laurie Bogart Morrow continues this rich tradition-and interweaves portraits of one of Hardscrabble's most valuable resources: its dogs.

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Overview

For thirty years, from 1923 until 1953, legendary Field & Stream columnist Corey Ford owned the Lower Forty in a small New England town that he dubbed "Hardscrabble" to shield its identity. He regaled millions of readers with colorful stories of its eccentric and eclectic townsfolk. Now, with The Hardscrabble Chronicles, Laurie Bogart Morrow continues this rich tradition-and interweaves portraits of one of Hardscrabble's most valuable resources: its dogs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The foundation for this pseudobiographical fiction is a monthly Field & Stream column Corey Ford wrote in the 1950s and '60s about life in the pseudonymous town of Hardscrabble. Morrow, a resident of the same town, dusts off Ford's long-abandoned idea and is picking up where he left off, that's all. The result is a warm, sentimental portrait of a pastoral New England village and its eccentric citizens. Founded in 1630, the hamlet of Hardscrabble is home to law-abiding, church-going folk623 of them. Morrow recounts her and husband Kip's move from Long Island to Hardscrabble after Kip inherits a centuries-old house complete with drafty windows, a leaky ceiling and nosy (but helpful) neighbors. After Morrow bears a son, she goes to work writing an events column for the local paper, replacing town gossip Doris Almy. When Doris returns unexpectedly, Morrow relinquishes her byline, opting to write stories about the town and its people instead. What follows is a loose collection of misadventures, ranging from the heroic acts of canines to the official embarrassment of a naked senator. Decorated with pencil sketches, each chapter overflows with the rustic charm of Old Home Week Parades and grouse hunting (there's even a final chapter of recipes). Though the collective effect becomes a bit mawkish, Morrow's prose demonstrates a sweet fondness for her hometown and its quirky, Rockwellian characters. Readers waiting for any kind of exhilarating plot twist (or plot, for that matter) should look elsewhere. The calamity of natural deaths, frozen pipes and courtroom politics is about as perilous as it gets in Hardscrabble, and that's just what Morrow and her predecessor Ford seem to have had in mind. (May) Forecast: Readers of Yankee magazine are the natural audience for this novel, and New England bookstores should stock up. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425191965
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/2/2003
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurie Bogart Morrow is the author of eleven books including The Woman Angler, the Orvis Field Guide series, and the bestseller Cold Noses & Warm Hearts, and contributes to numerous outdoor magazines, including Sports Afield, Field & Stream, Just Labs, and Sporting Classics.

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Table of Contents

Author's Note ix
Introduction 1
1 Coming Home 23
2 Nothing That a Few Nails and a Bulldozer Wouldn't Fix 27
3 The New Town Reporter 37
4 The Special Town Meeting 48
5 Jet of Huntress Bridge 62
6 The Simple Pleasures of Country Living 79
7 Spring Comes to Hardscrabble 87
8 The Legend of Big Boy and George Allard's Dog 108
9 The Return of Doris and Little Doris 120
10 The Adventures of Tom and Archie 134
11 Each Year Is Seven 149
12 Lost 155
13 The Sheep Killer 163
14 At the Hardscrabble Village Store 172
15 Just a Dog 181
16 Bill Plover's Funeral 197
17 The Verdict 207
18 New Day Dawning 217
19 Nipped in the Butt 221
20 And This, Too, Shall Pass Away 229
21 The Christmas Eve Pageant 249
22 The Wedding 267
23 Simple Blessings 274
Afterword: The Story Behind the Story 277
From the Hardscrabble Cookery Book 308
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2002

    An Absolute Delight

    If you're an old fan of Cory Ford and Robert Ruark from the old Field & Stream days of the 50's & 60's, there's a real flavor of the humor and quirkyness of those old columns with a more up to date slant. You old chauvinists shouldn't worry about a woman writing this kind of book; her gender is pretty transparent and she's an absolute delight to read. I'm ready to step up and order some more of her books.

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