Category Archives: 1880-1889

1880-1889

J. Pressley Barrett. Iola, or, Facing the Truth. Raleigh, NC: Edwards, Broughton & Co., 1886.

Religious controversy is at the heart of this novel. George Graham is saved from death on a Civil War battlefield by the saintly Addie Trueheart. After George regains his health, he and Addie marry. They are two soul mates except in matters of religion. George is a strong Baptist, while Addie is not. When George influences their only child, Iola, to become a Baptist, Mrs. Graham’s heart is broken. Her death causes Iola to re-evaluate the Baptist practice of closed communion.  When Iola voices her new beliefs, she is expelled from the church.  Her father is unpersuaded by Iola’s defense of her views (given over many pages in the book) and their relationship deteriorates. After leaving home, Iola makes a life for herself. The author clearly takes Iola’s side, and the book is an anti-Baptist tract.

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Filed under 1880-1889, 1886, Barrett, J. Pressley, Novels to Read Online, Religious/Inspirational

Christian Reid. Miss Churchill, a Study. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1887.

Most of the action in this novel takes places outside of North Carolina. Through the generosity of a journalist-adventurer Bernard Lysle, Cecil Churchill gets to leave her family’s plantation and travel to Europe and the Middle East. Lysle is smitten with Miss Churchill, but she is too dazzled by the interesting sights and people and her new freedom to take notice of his love. Only when she becomes engaged to someone else does she realize what Lysle has to offer.

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Filed under 1880-1889, 1887, Novels to Read Online, Reid, Christian, Romance/Relationship

Christian Reid. Rosyln’s Fortune. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1885.

Young Rosyln Vardray has just reached the age when she can think about marriage, and this young woman has many suitors. She rejects the affections of her stepbrother and a much older, wealthy man in favor of the handsome outsider, Victor Laurent. When she learns that Laurent is engaged to someone else, she turns away from him. That should be the end of the story, but the actions of an sinister neighbor, Mr. Stanley, and the kind Colonel Duncan keep the possibility of a marriage to Laurent alive. It takes a near-fatal accident for Rosyln to see the true character of each of her suitors. The action takes place in Eldon County, which most readers have taken to be Rowan County.

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

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Filed under 1880-1889, 1885, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont, Reid, Christian, Rowan

Charles Egbert Craddock. The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1885.

The main character, John Kelsey, attempts to lead his mountaineer brethren away from sin. Most of the characters speak in a mountain dialect that will be of interest to some readers but difficult for others.

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Filed under 1880-1889, 1885, Craddock, Charles Egbert, Mountains, Novels to Read Online, Religious/Inspirational

John W. Moore. The Heirs of St. Kilda: A Story of the Southern Past. Raleigh: Edwards, Broughton & Co., 1881.

The large antebellum plantations of the St. Kilda Valley provide the setting for this lush, nostalgic novel of horse racing, fox hunting, and other aristocratic pursuits. The main character, Philip Eustace, lives the good life at home and abroad in Europe. After attending the university, he marries his childhood sweetheart and their extended wedding celebration closes the novel. The setting is thought to be the St. John community in Hertford County. The author intended the novel to be “a faithful picture of our lost civilization.”

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Filed under 1880-1889, 1881, Coastal Plain, Hertford, Moore, John W., Novels to Read Online