Catalogue


Death comes for the archbishop /
Willa Cather ; historical essay and explanatory notes by John J. Murphy ; textual editing by Charles W. Mignon with Frederick M. Link and Kari A. Ronning.
imprint
Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 1999.
description
xii, 614 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0803214294 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
More Details
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-12-01:
This volume contains not only an authoritative text of Cather's popular 1927 novel about two 19th-century French missionaries to the Santa Fe diocese but also 300 pages of supplementary material, including maps, photographs, and other illustrations. Although Cather herself favored the 1929 illustrated edition, the University of Nebraska consistently chooses Cather's first editions as copy texts. The "unusually large number of versions" of Death Comes for the Archbishop complicated the editorial work of Mignon, Link, and Ronning, whose excellent "Textual Apparatus" includes an essay on the printing history, variants, and emendations. Equally fine are Murphy's historical essay and his explanatory notes on details ranging from Native American culture to Catholic feast days. Murphy introduces the lengthy section of notes by observing that "Death Comes for the Archbishop is more than any other Cather narrative a product of research, the fusion of an astounding array of sources that would be disparate if not combined within its text." Produced with the same thoughtful attention Cather bestowed on the printing of her books, this attractive new edition is scarcely less astounding and highly recommended for all academic libraries. J. W. Hall; University of Mississippi
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-04-15:
Nebraska pulls out all the stops for this superb scholarly edition of Cathers 1927 novel. This edition includes a newly restored text along with several historical essays and explanatory notes by several scholars. Academic libraries supporting hardcore American literature curricula will want this volume. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, April 1999
Choice, December 1999
Boston Globe, February 2004
Boston Globe, June 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Death Comes for the Archbishopsprang from Willa Cather's love for the land and cultures of the American Southwest. Published in 1927 to both praise and perplexity, it has since claimed for itself a major place in twentieth-century literature. When Cather first visited the American Southwest in 1912, she found a new world to imagine and soon came to feel that "the story of the Catholic Church in [the Southwest was the most interesting of all its stories." The narrative follows Bishop Jean Latour and Father Joseph Vaillant, friends since their childhood in France, as they organize the new Roman Catholic diocese of Santa Fe subsequent to the Mexican War. While seeking to revive the church and build a cathedral in the desert, the clerics, like their historical prototypes, Bishop Jean Lamy and Father Joseph Machebeuf, face religious corruption, natural adversity, and the loneliness of living in a strange and unforgiving land. The Willa Cather Scholarly Edition presents groundbreaking research, establishing a new text that reflects Cather's long and deep involvement with her story. The historical essay traces the artistic and spiritual development that led to its writing. The broad-ranging explanatory notes illuminate the elements of French, Mexican, Hispanic, and Native American cultures that meet in the course of the narrative; they also explain the part played by the land and its people-their history, religion, art, and languages. The textual essay and apparatus reveal Cather's creative process and enable the reader to follow the complex history of the text.
Main Description
In 1851 Bishop Latour and his friend Father Valliant are despatched to New Mexico to reawaken its slumbering Catholicism. Moving along the endless prairies, Latour spreads his faith the only way he knows-gently, although he must contend with the unforgiving landscape, derelict and sometimes openly rebellious priests, and his own loneliness. Over nearly years, they leave converts and enemies, crosses, and occasionally ecstasy in their wake. But it takes a death for them to make their mark on the landscape forever.
Unpaid Annotation
Death Comes for the Archbishop sprang from Willa Cather's love for the land and cultures of the American Southwest. Published in 1927 to both praise and perplexity, it has since claimed for itself a major place in twentieth-century literature. The narrative follows Bishop Jean Latour and Father Joseph Vaillant, friends since their childhood in France, as they organize the new Roman Catholic diocese of Santa Fe subsequent to the Mexican War. While seeking to revive the church and build a cathedral in the desert, the clerics, like their historical prototypes, Bishop Jean Laury and Father Joseph Machebeuf, face religious corruption, natural adversity, and the loneliness of living in a strange and unforgiving land. The historical essay traces the artistic and spiritual development that led to its writing. The broad-ranging explanatory notes illuminate the elements of French, Mexican, Hispanic, and Native American cultures that meet in the course of the narrative, they also explain the part played by the land and its people - their history, religion, art, and languages.
Main Description
Death Comes for the Archbishopsprang from Willa Cather's love for the land and cultures of the American Southwest. Published in 1927 to both praise and perplexity, it has since claimed for itself a major place in twentieth-century literature. When Cather first visited the American Southwest in 1912, she found a new world to imagine and soon came to feel that "the story of the Catholic Church in [the Southwest] was the most interesting of all its stories." The narrative follows Bishop Jean Latour and Father Joseph Vaillant, friends since their childhood in France, as they organize the new Roman Catholic diocese of Santa Fe subsequent to the Mexican War. While seeking to revive the church and build a cathedral in the desert, the clerics, like their historical prototypes, Bishop Jean Lamy and Father Joseph Machebeuf, face religious corruption, natural adversity, and the loneliness of living in a strange and unforgiving land. The Willa Cather Scholarly Edition presents groundbreaking research, establishing a new text that reflects Cather's long and deep involvement with her story. The historical essay traces the artistic and spiritual development that led to its writing. The broad-ranging explanatory notes illuminate the elements of French, Mexican, Hispanic, and Native American cultures that meet in the course of the narrative; they also explain the part played by the land and its peopletheir history, religion, art, and languages. The textual essay and apparatus reveal Cather's creative process and enable the reader to follow the complex history of the text.

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