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Old 02-20-2009, 07:47 AM   #1
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Glasgow, Ellen: One Man in His Time. V1. 20 Feb 2009

Ellen Glasgow , 1873-1945, American novelist, b. Richmond, Va. In revolt against the romantic treatment of Southern life, Glasgow presented in fiction a social history of Virginia since 1850, stressing the changing social order and the emergence of a dominant middle class and rejecting the outworn code of Southern chivalry and masculine superiority. She spent her entire life in Richmond, Va. Her radicalism was apparent in her first novel, The Descendant (1897), and was sustained through her many subsequent books, including Virginia (1913), Life and Gabriella (1916), Barren Ground (1925), The Romantic Comedians (1926), Vein of Iron (1935), and In This Our Life (1941; Pulitzer Prize).

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Stopping midway of the road, Stephen Culpeper glanced back over the vague streets and the clearer distance, where the approaching dusk spun mauve and silver cobwebs of air. From that city, it seemed to him, a new and inscrutable force—the force of an idea—had risen within the last few months to engulf the Square and all that the Square had ever meant in his life. Though he was only twenty-six, he felt that he had watched the decay and dissolution of a hundred years. Nothing of the past remained untouched. Not the old buildings, not the old trees, not even the old memories. Clustering traditions had fled in the white blaze of electricity; the quaint brick walks, with their rich colour in the sunlight, were beginning to disappear beneath the expressionless mask of concrete. It was all changed since his father's or his grandfather's day; it was all obvious and cheap, he thought; it was all ugly and naked and undistinguished—yet the tide of the new ideas was still rising. Democracy, relentless, disorderly, and strewn with the wreckage of finer things, had overwhelmed the world of established customs in which he lived.
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