The Marrow of Tradition: Electronic Edition

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2010-12-12 19:30Z by Steven

The Marrow of Tradition: Electronic Edition

Boston; New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company
The Riverside Press, Cambridge
329 pages

Electronic Edition
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Text scanned (OCR) by Kathy Graham
Text encoded by Teresa Church and Natalia Smith
Filesize: ca. 600KB

Charles W. Chesnutt (1858-1932)

The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH database “A Digitized Library of Southern Literature, Beginnings to 1920.

  • Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
  • All quotation marks and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
  • All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as ” and ” respectively.
  • All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as ‘ and ‘ respectively.
  • Indentation in lines has not been preserved.
  • Running titles have not been preserved.
  • Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (SoftQuad) and Microsoft Word spell checkers.

Partial summary by Mary Alice Kirkpatrick from 2004:

…Chesnutt’s ambitious and complex novel, The Marrow of Tradition (1901), was based on the 1898 race riot in Wilmington, North Carolina, which some of Chesnutt’s relatives survived. This event left a considerable number of African Americans dead and expelled thousands more from their homes. Set in the fictional town of Wellington, The Marrow of Tradition centers on two prominent families, the Carterets and the Millers, and explores their remarkably intersected lives. Major Philip Carteret, editor of The Morning Chronicle newspaper, emerges as the unabashed white supremacist who, along with General Belmont and Captain George McBane, seeks to overthrow “Negro domination,” setting in motion those events that culminate in the murderous “revolution.” Dr. William Miller, following his medical education in the North and abroad, has returned home to “his people,” establishing a local black hospital in Wellington. Dr. Miller’s wife, Janet, is the racially mixed half-sister of Major Carteret’s wife, Olivia. Not surprisingly, Olivia Merkell Carteret struggles to suppress the truth of her father’s scandalous second marriage to Julia Brown, his black servant and Janet Miller’s mother. The novel also contains several intricate subplots involving a wide cast of secondary characters: a heroic rebel’s vow to avenge his father’s wrongful death; a staged robbery that results in an ostensible murder; romantic entanglements; and endless doublings and pairings of both white and black characters. Yet throughout The Marrow of Tradition, Chesnutt depicts the problems afflicting the New South, offering an invective that criticizes the nation’s panicked responses to issues of social equality and miscegenation

Read the entire summary here.

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