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Here are Masters's dramatic monologues written in free verse about a fictional Midwestern town called Spoon River. The dead, "sleeping on the hill" in their village cemetery, awaken to tell the truth about their lives, toppling the myth of the moral superiority of small-town life.

A notorious success when it was first published in 1915, this collection of ...

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Spoon River Anthology

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Here are Masters's dramatic monologues written in free verse about a fictional Midwestern town called Spoon River. The dead, "sleeping on the hill" in their village cemetery, awaken to tell the truth about their lives, toppling the myth of the moral superiority of small-town life.

A notorious success when it was first published in 1915, this collection of dramatic monologues by over 200 former inhabitants of the fictional town of Spoon River topples the myth of moral superiority in small-town America, as the dead give testimony to their shocking scandals and secret tragedies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440635298
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/29/2008
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 254,686
  • File size: 549 KB

Meet the Author

Edgar Lee Masters was born in 1868 in Garnett, Kansas. He achieved fame in 1915 with the publication of Spoon River Anthology. Though he never matched the success of Spoon River Anthology, Masters was a prolific writer of diverse works. He published several volumes of poems including The Great Valley (1916), Along the Illinois (1942), The Serpent in the Wilderness (1933), and Invisible Landscapes (1935). In the 1940s he was awarded the Poetry Society of America medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Academy of American Poets Fellowship. Edgar Lee Masters died in Melrose, Pennsylvania, in 1950 and is buried in Petersburg, Illinois.

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Read an Excerpt

Spoon River Anthology

By Masters, Edgar Lee

Tor Classics

Copyright © 1997 Masters, Edgar Lee
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780812539042

The Hill
Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley,
The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter?
All, all, are sleeping on the hill.
One passed in a fever,
One was burned in a mine,
One was killed in a brawl,
One died in a jail,
One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife--
All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.
Where are Ella, Kate, Mag, Lizzie and Edith,
The tender heart, the simple soul, the loud, the proud, the happy one?-
All, all, are sleeping on the hill.
One died in shameful child-birth,
One of a thwarted love,
One at the hands of a brute in a brothel,
One of a broken pride, in the search for heart's desire,
One after life in far-away London and Paris
Was brought to her little space by Ella and Kate and Mag--
All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.
Where are Uncle Isaac and Aunt Emily,
And old Towny Kincaid and Sevigne Houghton,
And Major Walker who had talked
With venerable men of the revolution?-
All, all, are sleeping on the hill.
They brought them dead sons from the war,
And daughters whomlife had crushed,
And their children fatherless, crying--
All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.
Where is Old Fiddle: Jones
Who played with life all his ninety years,
Braving the sleet with bared breast,
Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,
Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?
Lo! he babbles of the fish-frys of long ago,
Of the horse-races of long ago at Clary's Grove,
Of what Abe Lincoln said
One time at Springfield.
All new material in this edition copyright 1996 by Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.


Excerpted from Spoon River Anthology by Masters, Edgar Lee Copyright © 1997 by Masters, Edgar Lee. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents

Introduction xv
Altman, Herman 218
Armstrong, Hannah 215
Arnett, Harold 47
Arnett, Justice 53
Atheist, The Village 236
Atherton, Lucius 56
Ballard, John 237
Barker, Amanda 9
Barrett, Pauline 88
Bartlett, Ezra 117
Bateson, Marie 222
Beatty, Tom 148
Beethoven, Isaiah 252
Bennett, Hon. Henry 66
Bindle, Nicholas 45
Bliss, Mrs. Charles 89
Blood, A. D. 69
Bloyd, Wendell P. 80
Bone, Richard 170
Branson, Caroline 205
Brown, Jim 108
Brown, Sarah 34
Browning, Elijah 253
Burke, Robert Southey 70
Burleson, John Horace 76
Butler, Roy 149
Cabanis, Flossie 36
Cabanis, John 121
Calhoun, Granville 178
Calhoun, Henry C. 179
Campbell, Calvin 193
Carlisle, Jeremy 247
Carman, Eugene 128
Cheney, Columbus 220
Chicken, Ida 106
Childers, Elizabeth 188
Church, John M. 83
Churchill, Alfonso 239
Clapp, Homer 57
Clark, Nellie 62
Clute, Aner 55
Compton, Seth 167
Conant, Edith 189
Culbertson, E. C. 174
Davidson, Robert 109
Dement, Silas 171
Dippold the Optician 182
Dixon, Joseph 248
Dobyns, Batterton 145
Drummer, Frank 29
Drummer, Hare 30
Dunlap, Enoch 165
Dye, Shack 175
Ehrenhardt, Imanuel 226
Epilogue 267
Fallas, State's Attorney 79
Fawcett, Clarence 129
Ferguson, Wallace 221
Findlay, Anthony 120
Fluke, Willard 54
Foote, Searcy 150
Ford, Webster 255
Fraser, Benjamin 21
Fraser, Daisy 20
French, Charlie 39
Frickey, Ida 166
Garber, James 241
Gardner, Samuel 227
Garrick, Amelia 118
Godbey, Jacob 146
Goldman, Le Roy 243
Goode, William 230
Goodhue Harry Carey 12
Goodpasture, Jacob 46
Graham, Magrady 183
Gray, George 65
Green, Ami 192
Greene, Hamilton 111
Griffy the Cooper 67
Gustine, Dorcas 44
Hainsfeather, Barney 86
Hamblin, Carl 126
Hately, Constance 10
Hatfield, Aaron 251
Hawkins, Elliott 161
Hawley, Jeduthan 158
Henry, Chase 11
Herndon, William H. 211
Heston, Roger 113
Higbie, Archibald 184
Hill, Doc 32
Hill, The 1
Hoheimer, Knowlt 27
Holden, Barry 78
Hookey, Sam 59
Houghton, Jonathan 173
Howard, Jefferson 94
Hueffer, Cassius 7
Hummel, Oscar 135
Humphrey, Lydia 242
Huxley, Scholfield 233
Hutchins, Lambert 142
Hyde, Ernest 112
Iseman, Dr. Siegfried 50
Jack, Blind 75
James, Godwin 203
Joe, Plymouth Rock 224
Johnson, Voltaire 163
Jones, Fiddler 61
Jones, Franklin 82
Jones, "Indignation" 23
Jones, Minerva 22
Jones, William 229
Judge, The Circuit 74
Karr, Elmer 187
Keene, Jonas 97
Keene, Kinsey 14
Kessler, Bert 141
Kessler, Mrs. 139
Killion, Captain Orlando 246
Kincaid, Russell 250
King, Lyman 204
Knapp, Nancy 77
Konovaloff, Ippolit 196
Kritt, Dow 228
Layton, Henry 194
Lively, Judge Selah 95
M'Cumber, Daniel 103
McDowell, Rutherford 214
McFarlane, Widow 125
McGee, Fletcher 5
McGee, Ollie 4
M'Grew, Jennie 219
M'Grew, Mickey 133
McGuire, Jack 43
McNeely, Mary 102
McNeely, Paul 101
McNeely, Washington 100
Malloy, Father 191
Marsh, Zilpha 240
Marshal, The Town 42
Marshall, Herbert 64
Mason, Serepta 8
Matheny, Faith 232
Matlock, Davis 217
Matlock, Lucinda 216
Melveny, Abel 159
Merritt, Mrs. 186
Merritt, Tom 185
Metcalf, Willie 234
Meyers, Doctor 24
Meyers, Mrs. 25
Micure, Hamlet 208
Miles, J. Milton 231
Miller, Julia 37
Miner, Georgine Sand 104
Moir, Alfred 180
Newcomer, Professor 131
Night-Watch, Andy the 33
Nutter, Isa 85
Osborne, mabel 210
Otis, John Hancock 119
Pantier, Benjamin 15
Pantier, Mrs. Benjamin 16
Pantier, Reuben 17
Peet, Rev. Abner 93
Pennington,Willie 235
Penniwit, The Artist 107
Petit, The Poet 87
Phipps, Henry 197
Poague, Peleg 157
Pollard, Edmund 152
Potter, Cooney 60
Puckett, Lydia 28
Purkapile, Mrs. 137
Purkapile, Roscoe 136
Putt, Hod 3
Reece, Mrs. George 90
Rhodes, Ralph 132
Rhodes, Thomas 105
Richter, Gustav 244
Robbins, Hortense 144
Roberts, Rosie 134
Ross, Thomas, Jr. 92
Russian Sonia 84
Rutledge, Anne 207
Sayre, Johnnie 38
Scates, Hiram 156
Schirding, Albert 96
Schmidt, Felix 168
Schrceder the Fisherman 169
Scott, Julian 238
Sexsmith the Dentist 68
Sewall, Harlan 195
Sharp, Percival 154
Shaw, "Ace" 51
Shelley, Percy Bysshe 35
Shope, Tennessee Claflin 223
Sibley, Amos 114
Sibley, Mrs. 115
Siever, Conrad 31
Simmons, Walter 147
Sissman, Dillard 172
Slack, Margaret Fuller 48
Smith, Louise 63
Soldiers, Many 202
Somers, Jonathan Swift 124
Somers, Judge 13
Sparks, Emily 18
Spears, Lois 52
Spooniad, The 257
Standard, W. Lloyd Garrison 130
Stewart, Lillian 143
Stoddard, Judson 249
Tanner, Robert Fulton 6
Taylor, Deacon 58
Theodore the Poet 41
Thornton, English 164
Throckmorton, Alexander 123
Todd, Eugenia 98
Tompkins, Josiah 138
Trainor, the Druggist 19
Trevelyan, Thomas 153
Trimble, George 49
Tripp, Henry 177
Tubbs, Hildrup 176
Turner, Francis 81
Tutt, Oaks 160
Unknown, The 122
Wasson, John 201
Wasson, Rebecca 213
Webster, Charles 190
Weirauch, Adam 116
Weldy, "Butch" 26
Wertman, Elsa 110
Whedon, Editor 127
Whitney, Harmon 140
Wiley, Rev. Lemuel 91
Will, Arlo 245
William and Emily 73
Williams, Dora 71
Williams, Mrs. 72
Wilmans, Harry 199
Witt, Zenas 40
Yee Bow 99
Zoll, Perry 181
For Further Reading 285
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