Category Archives: Erskine, Payne

Payne Erskine. A Girl of the Blue Ridge. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1915.

Lurry Bab’s future is bleak, almost Dickensian. When Lurry’s mother dies from her husband’s violence and neglect, Lurry takes her infant brother and runs away from home. Daniel McEwen, an old hermit who rescues Lurry, had a history with Lurry’s late mother. There are many connections among the mountaineers–those on the side of the law and those who make moonshine–and these connections come out during the course of the novel. Lurry is torn between what is left of her family–violent and drunken though they are–and a better life at a settlement school. Dave Turpin, a sometime assistant to the moonshiners, also moves back and forth between the moonshiners and the villagers. Lurry and Dave are attracted to each other, but when Dave is accused of murdering Lurry’s father, a happy life together looks unlikely.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1915, Coast, Erskine, Payne, Mountains, Novels to Read Online

Payne Erskine. The Mountain Girl. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1912.

The healthful climate of the North Carolina mountains attracts the ailing English physician David Thryng. Dr. Thryng is a young man, from a good family. He becomes enchanted by the people, the beauty, and the folkways of the mountains (all well described in the book). He falls in love and marries a local girl. When his cousin and his brothers die in the Boer Wars, Dr. Thryng unexpectedly inherits an English title. As his English relatives know nothing of his marriage, the good doctor’s life becomes complicated. Since this is a book from an earlier, innocent era, readers can count on a happy ending.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1912, Erskine, Payne, Mountains, Novels to Read Online

Payne Erskine. When the Gates Lift Up Their Heads: A Story of the Seventies. Boston: Little, Brown, 1901.

Although this novel is set in the mountains of western North Carolina, plantation slavery is presented is part of the local heritage and figures in the plot. The shoe is on the other foot when John Marshall returns to his hometown near Asheville in the 1870s. Northerners have come to this part of the South and they are making their presence felt through land purchases and business deals. His family home has been sold and is now a boarding house run by the optimistic and energetic Portia Van Ostade. Old racial and social attitudes are still alive, but the younger characters find romance across the sectional divide. The happiness of one young couple is threatened by a secret from the past.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1900-1909, 1901, Buncombe, Erskine, Payne, Mountains, Novels to Read Online