Category Archives: Novels to Read Online

1. Novels to Read Online

Christian Reid. The Wargrave Trust. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1911.

Judge Wargrave believes that his son has dishonored the family, so he plans to leave his estate to a nephew. The nephew, Laurence Desmond, is reluctant to accept the inheritance until he is sure that his cousin’s actions merit this harsh treatment. Laurence’s investigations upset other family members. Even when the rightful heir appears, matters are far from settled. In true early twentieth century style, the novel mixes romance into this tale of family honor. The story in set at the Wargrave country place in Davie County.

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, 1911, Davie, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont, Reid, Christian

Elizabeth Van Loon. The Shadow of Hampton Mead. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson & Brothers, 1878.

The Hamptons live an Edenic life on their plantation the western North Carolina. Mrs. Hampton died young, but Mr. Hampton has had the pleasure of watching his children Walter and Norva grow to adulthood. The snake who enters this garden is Norva’s new husband Lawrence Hastings, a man she met in London. Hasting is lascivious and greedy, and his plot to seize the Hampton’s family’s wealth almost succeeds. The novel is thought to be set in Yancey County; the time is the early nineteenth century.

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

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Filed under 1870-1879, 1878, Mountains, Novels to Read Online, Van Loon, Elizabeth, Yancey

Frances Hodgson Burnett. Louisiana. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907.

Louisiana (Louise) Rogers, a pretty mountain girl, is sent by her father to Oakvale Springs to recover her health. The resort has a healthful climate, but most people who come there are well-to-do Southerners looking to socialize with people like themselves. Louisiana is out of place, as is Olivia Ferrol, a New Yorker. The misfits become friends. Olivia makes Louise her project, changing her hairstyle and manner of walking, and dressing her in finer clothes. Complications ensue when Olivia’s brother is taken with Louise. When Louise and the Ferrols take refuge at Louise’s house during a storm, the differences between Louise and her suitor are exposed. Louise’s father is the hero of this tale, which ends happily for the young lovers. Oakvale Springs is thought to be based on Hot Springs in Madison County.

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, 1907, Burnett, Frances Hodgson, Madison, Mountains, Novels to Read Online

J. G. Clinkscales. How Zach Came to College. Spartanburg, SC: W. F. Barnes, 1903.

Zach Whetsone, a lad from Rutherford County, happens to be selling his produce in Spartanburg, South Carolina one spring day when the commencement exercises at Wofford College are taking place. Zach is inspired by the event and later returns to Wofford as a student. As a poor mountaineer, Zach has to overcome many obstacles to complete his degree. When he finally does, he returns home to marry his true love, preach, teach, and start a high school. Zach is presented as an admirable figure: working hard, caring for his widowed mom, staying true to his love, and speaking out for national reconciliation, but his racial attitudes (or, those of the author) will offend many readers.

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, 1903, Clinkscales, J. G., Mountains, Novels to Read Online, Rutherford

Ethel and James Dorrance. Flames of the Blue Ridge. New York: Macaulay Co., 1919.

Calvin Parker is a New York artist who likes his drink–too much. A friend, Spencer Pope, tries to save Parker by sending him to dry out in the North Carolina mountains. It’s a little unbelievable that Pope, an internal revenue agent, didn’t know of the moonshine culture in Dismal Gap. Parker’s landlady is a stalwart dry campaigner and she is thrilled to have one of Mr. Pope’s associates boarding with her. So there’s the set-up: Parker wants a drink, but all the local moonshiners thinks he’s a revenuer. Parker’s romantic interest in Vernaluska Metcalf, a moonshiner’s daughter, adds a complication to the plot. Of course, it’s Parker’s love for the fair Verney that saves him–and her bootlegger dad.

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, 1919, Dorrance, Ethel and James, Mountains, Novels to Read Online

Harry Castlemon. Marcy the Blockade-Runner. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1891.

In this novel is set in North Carolina during the Civil War, the protagonists are a bit of a surprise. Young Marcy Gray, his mother, and brother Jack are Union sympathizers, but they must present a Confederate front to their neighbors. The boys are pilots, halfhearted blockade runners who take to this business to deflect the suspicions of their neighbors and thus protect their mother’s land and wealth. Brother Jack eventually shows his true colors by joining the Union fleet. This is one of two books that follows the Marcy family during the Civil War.

Harry Castlemon is the pseudonym of Charles Austin Fosdick. Fosdick wrote numerous adventure stories for boys in the late nineteenth century. Fosdick himself served in the Union Navy in the Civil War, and some of his experiences may be reflected in this novel.

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

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Filed under 1890-1899, 1891, Castlemon, Harry, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Historical, 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

Maria Louise Pool. Dally. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1893.

It is a bit of a stretch to call this a North Carolina novel. The main character, Dally, is a poor girl from the North Carolina mountains, but early in the novel she is sent to New England to live with a widow lady, Mrs. Jacobs. It takes Dally some time to adjust to her new surroundings, but by the end of the novel she has won over the other characters with her open heart, self-sacrifice, and bravery. (As in many novels of this era, the main character’s dog has a role in the plot.)

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

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Filed under 1890-1899, 1893, Mountains, Novels to Read Online, Pool, Maria Louise, Religious/Inspirational

Cyrus Townsend Brady. When Blades Are Out and Love’s Afield. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1901.

This romance, set in North Carolina during the later years of the American Revolution, follows the fortunes of two officers. Francis Duane, a lieutenant-colonel on Lord Cornwallis’ staff, and Curtis Baird, a captain in the Continental Army, contend on and off the field. Duane is betrothed to Isabel Burton, daughter of a prominent Salisbury Loyalist, but the actions of Isabel’s plucky cousin Sarah touch Duane’s heart. Baird suspects that Isabel does not agree with her father’s politics, nor with his plans for her future. This book works better as an historical novel than as a romance. General Nathanael Greene and Lord Cornwallis appear throughout the book, and the novel includes a detailed account of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.

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, Brady, Cyrus Townsend, Guilford, Historical, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Rowan

Celia Myrover Robinson. Rowena’s Happy Summer. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1912.

This young adult novel is set in Wake County in the 1880s. The Beauchamp family lives in reduced circumstances as the widowed Mr. Beauchamp tries to raise his three daughters, with help from his sisters and the family’s servants. Rowena, the eldest daughter, is bored and chafes at the family’s relative poverty. Rowena longs for excitement and a chance to study music. She finds both when a cousin from the black sheep side of the family arrives. Through her boldness and open-heartedness, Rowena makes new friends and heals a family rift.

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, Children & Young Adults, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont, Robinson, Celia Myrover, Wake