George W. Cable: the Northampton Years

George W. Cable: the Northampton Years

George W. Cable: the Northampton Years

George W. Cable: the Northampton Years

Excerpt

In 1866, when he was twenty-one years old, George Washington Cable was an intense young man, thoughtful about postwar problems in turbulent New Orleans, industrious in his efforts to support his mother and sisters, ambitious for security and an honorable profession. He was as egocentric as other youngsters, and despite his seriousness and his religious upbringing his was not an ascetic spirit, but he had a sense of dedication and he aspired to something more than material success. His compulsion to achieve some worthy accomplishment, to win a notable reputation, he expressed when he wrote to his mother in January of that year, "May the world regret me when I die!" I believe Cable rarely lost sight of this goal during the years that followed. As his circumstances and environment altered, there were changes in his convictions, in his standards, even in his character, and there was a natural waning of his idealism. But when he died at eighty be bad realized his principal ambition, for his fiction about ante bellum Louisiana had been accepted as an important contribution to American literature and his labors for civic betterment bad made him an acknowledged public benefactor.

This book is particularly concerned with Cable's role as a . . .

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