Gene Stratton-Porter: Novelist and Naturalist / Edition 1

Gene Stratton-Porter: Novelist and Naturalist / Edition 1

by Judith Reick Long
Pub. Date:
Indiana Historical Society

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Gene Stratton-Porter: Novelist and Naturalist / Edition 1

When Gene Stratton-Porter died at the age of sixty-one on 6 December 1924, she was one of America's most popular novelists and the best known of the many Indiana authors. At the time of her death her publishers estimated that she had more than fifty million readers-in the United States and many more throughout the world. In the last seventeen years of her life her books sold at a rate of 1,700 copies a day. Although her novels were not well received by literary crities, the traditional values and reverence for nature that they reflect continue to attract an admiring and responsive audience. Many of her novels have been issued in new editions, and demand among antique collectors for original editions is intense. However, until now, this famous Hoosier has been neglected by biographers. Judith Reick Long and the Indiana Historical Society seek to correct this injustice with Gene Stratton-Porter: Novelist and Naturalist, a balanced account of Stratton-Porter that shows both her strengths and her weaknesses and offers a few surprises along the way.

Born on a farm in Wabash County, Indiana, in 1863, the youngest of twelve children, Gene Stratton spent much of her childhood roaming the woods and observing wildlife. It was during this time that she developed the independence of spirit and love of nature that would guide her actions throughout her life. Gene was also greatly influenced by the religious teachings of her father, Mark Stratton, but Long sheds new light on this pivotal relationship in the author's life. Through the use of previously uninvestigated sources, such as the genealogical archives of several states and an early anonymous novel that has never before been attributed to Gene Stratton-Porter, Long depicts the author of sentimental and simple nature tales as a much more complex individual than she has heretofore been considered. Long balances Stratton-Porter's love of family against her desire to be apart and her ability to embroider a story against her innate honesty. Gene Stratton-Porter emerges as a sympathetic character whose independence often led to rebelliousness. As a woman writing in the early part of this century, she fought against conventional attitudes, yet her message was intrinsically conservative. Students of Indiana and American literature will find much that is new in Long's biography of this eminent American writer. Judith Reick Long's interest in Gene Stratton-Porter spanned the last thirty-five years of the biographer's life. An antiquarian book dealer specializing in the history and literature of the Ohio Valley, she recognized the need for a new biography of Stratton-Porter, "that would disregard those legends which commonly surround, and cloud, the life of a well-known person." Educated at Indiana University, Long finished the manuscript but did not live to see it published. Her husband, Edgar Long, has been instrumental in seeing this publication become a reality

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871950529
Publisher: Indiana Historical Society
Publication date: 09/01/1990
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 286
Product dimensions: 6.34(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.18(d)

Table of Contents

1A Latter-Day Moses1
2Raging Fevers19
3Praying Overtime31
4The Hum of Life43
5Softly, and with Whispers53
6Her Father's Daughter65
7A Catalyst87
8Enter Mr. Porter99
9Simmering Like a Teakettle113
10"Shades of the Pottawattomies"135
11Her Very Good Friend155
12A Full Mailbox169
13Camera Fever179
14Wildflower Woods197
15A New Way of Life209
16Open to Change and Possibility223
17On the Move Again237
Select Bibliography269

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