The Rainbow Trail - A Romance by Zane Grey
The Rainbow Trail, also known as The Desert Crucible, is Western author Zane Grey's sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage. Originally published under the title The Rainbow Trail in 1915, it was re-edited and re-released in recent years as The Desert Crucible with the original manuscript that Grey submitted to publishers.
The novel takes place ten years after events of Riders of the Purple Sage. The wall to Surprise Valley has broken, and Jane Withersteen is forced to choose between Lassiter's life and Fay Larkin's marriage to a Mormon.
Both novels are notable for their protagonists' mild opposition to Mormon polygamy, but in The Rainbow Trail this theme is treated more explicitly. The plots of both books revolve around the victimization of women in the Mormon culture: events in Riders of the Purple Sage are centered on the struggle of a Mormon woman who sacrifices her wealth and social status to avoid becoming a junior wife of the head of a local church, while The Rainbow Trail contrasts the older Mormons with the rising generation of Mormon women who will not tolerate polygamy and Mormon men who do not seek it.
The novel is the basis of a 1931 film of the same name. Frank McGrath, later of Wagon Train, made his acting debut in this film though his role is uncredited.
Pearl Zane Grey (January 31, 1872 - October 23, 1939) was an American author best known for his popular adventure novels and stories that presented an idealized image of the American frontier. Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) was his best-selling book. In addition to the success of his printed works, they later had second lives and continuing influence when adapted as films and television productions. As of 2012, 112 films, two television episodes, and a television series, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, had been made that were based loosely on his novels and short stories.
Pearl Zane Grey was born January 31, 1872, in Zanesville, Ohio. His birth name may have originated from newspaper descriptions of Queen Victoria's mourning clothes as "pearl gray". He was the fourth of five children born to Alice "Allie" Josephine Zane, whose English Quaker immigrant ancestor Robert Zane came to America in 1673, and her husband, Lewis M. Gray, a dentist. His family changed the spelling of their last name to "Grey" after his birth. Later Grey dropped Pearl and used Zane as his first name. He grew up in Zanesville, a city founded by his maternal great-grandfather Ebenezer Zane, an American Revolutionary War patriot; from an early age, the boy was intrigued by history. Grey developed interests in fishing, baseball, and writing, all of which contributed to his writing success. His first three novels recounted the heroism of his ancestors who fought in the American Revolutionary War.