Category Archives: 1910-1919

1910-1919

James Hay, Jr. The Winning Clue. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1919.

Asheville is called Furmville in this novel, but readers will recognize the Asheville of the early twentieth century.  The city is a haven for tuberculosis patient from all along the eastern seaboard.  One of these patients, Miss Fulton, has been accompanied by her older sister, Mrs. Withers, a beautiful and fairly well-to-do woman.  As the novel opens, the younger woman finds her older sister dead in the living room of the bungalow they share. Mrs. Withers has been strangled and her jewels have been stolen.  Has she been murdered by a stranger or someone in her circle?  Police chief Greenleaf is aided in his investigations by an Atlanta detective who is recuperating in Furmville.  Their conversations move the investigation forward; those conversations also reveal the racial and social attitudes of the period.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1919, Buncombe, Hay, James, Mountains, Mystery, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Andrew Carey Lincoln. Motorcycle Chums in the Land of the Sky. Chicago: M. A. Donohue, 1912.

Four young boys from the North seek adventure in the mountains around Asheville.  They find hospitable Southerners, ornery sheriffs, runaway horses, moonshiners, and a long-lost brother. The plot might not hold the attention of the YouTube generation, but the cover illustration will delight all who see it.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1912, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Lincoln, Andrew Carey, Mountains

Elia W. Peattie. Annie Laurie and Azalea. Chicago: Reilly & Britton, 1913.

Azalea and Carin are not happy when Annie Laurie joins their class, but eventually they become friends and want to help Annie Laurie when someone makes off with her family’s fortune.

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, 1913, Children & Young Adults, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels to Read Online, Peattie, Elia W.

Elia W. Peattie. Azalea’s Silver Web. Chicago: Reilly & Britton, 1915.

Azalea, now 18, finds that she is the missing granddaughter of a wealthy South Carolina family, and she must make a choice between plantation life and the mountain people who have nurtured her. Told in letters from Azalea; heavy on dialect.

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, Children & Young Adults, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels to Read Online, Peattie, Elia W.

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

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.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1911, Davie, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont, Reid, Christian

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.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1919, Dorrance, Ethel and James, 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.

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

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.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1912, Children & Young Adults, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont, Robinson, Celia Myrover, Wake

Frank R. Stockton. Kate Bonnet: The Romance of a Pirate’s Daughter. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1914.

A sanitized and cheerful pirate tale, with just a few scenes set at Topsail Inlet and Cape Fear. Kate tries to steer her father, Stede Bonnet, away from piracy, in part for his safety, and in part to speed her marriage plans. Blackbeard, a rival and sometime collaborator with Bonnet, complicates matters.

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, 1914, Coast, Novels to Read Online, Stockton, Frank R.