1889 1st year edition; Houghton, Mifflin and Company publishers, Boston; hardbound in red boards with black decor and lettering on cover and spine; quite good condition of unmarked pages with minimal ageing and foxing; boards are good with minimal fading and wear; no dust jacket available; book ads at end of book.
Mary Noailles Murfree (1850-1922) was an American fiction writer of novels and short stories who wrote under the pen name Charles Egbert Craddock. She has been favorably compared to Bret Harte and Sarah Orne Jewett, creating post-Civil War American local-color literature. She is considered by many to be Appalachia's first significant female writer and her work a necessity for the study of Appalachian literature.
Excerpt from The Despot of Broomsedge Cove -
On a certain steep and savage slope of the Great Smoky Mountains, the primeval wilderness for many miles is unbroken save by one meagre clearing. The presence of humanity upon the earth is further attested only by a log cabin, high on the rugged slant. At night the stars seem hardly more aloof than the valley below. By day the mountains assert their solemn vicinage, an austere company. The clouds that silently commune with the great peaks, the sinister and scathing deeds of the lightnings, the passionate rhetoric of the thunders, the triumphal pageantry of the sunset-tides, and the wistful yearnings of the dawn aspiring to the day, - these might seem the only incidents of this lonely and exalted life. So august is this mountain scheme that it fills all the visible world with its massive multitudinous presence; still stretching out into the dim blue distances an infinite perspective of peak and range and lateral spur, till one may hardly believe that the fancy does not juggle with the fact.
One day a sound impinged suddenly upon its impressive silence, - faint and far, but even in the echo charged with alien suggestions; not akin to the woods or the waters, to the cry of beast or of bird; subtly at variance with the mountain solitude, imposed upon it, neither of its essence nor its outgrowth.