June 24, 2009

Blue-Grass and Broadway, Maria Thompson Daviess

Obvious in plot and worse in characterization, but interesting to see what parts of modernity had arrived in 1919. Some things are now unintentionally funny; e.g., the New York impresario who looks forward to the California influence on entertainment because he thinks it will raise the tone.

Daviess is, as usual, good on sisterhood (the woman who would in most versions of this be the scheming villainess is admired for the strengths she does have, and allowed a happy ending of her own) and on the importance of work for men and women (and the need to change social mores because men and women need to work together). She's still classbound and race-bound, though I did think the faithful black servant in the South got a lick in:

"Yes, sir. We whipped them Yankees in no time but they jest didn't find it out in time to stop killing us 'for it all ended."

Rare in libraries: Blue-Grass and Broadway, but almost ready to be released by Project Gutenberg.

So wrote clew in Fiction (20th c.).
And thus wrote others:
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