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Old 04-13-2009, 02:59 PM   #1
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McCutcheon, George Barr: Viola Gwyn. V1. 13 Apr 2009

George Barr McCutcheon (July 26, 1866–1928) was an American popular novelist and playwright. His best known works include the series of novels set in Graustark, a fictional East European country, Brewster's Millions, a play and several films.
Born in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, McCutcheon's father, despite not receiving formal education, stressed the value of literature and encouraged his sons to write. During McCutcheon's childhood, his father had a number of jobs that required travel around the county in Indiana. McCutcheon studied at Purdue University and was a roommate of future humorist George Ade. During his college years, he was editor of the Lafayette Daily Courier and wrote a serial novel of satire about Wabash River life.
Although McCutcheon became famous for the Graustark series (the first novel was published in 1901), he hated the characterization of being a Romantic and preferred to be identified with his playwriting.
He was the older brother of noted cartoonist John T. McCutcheon.


Excerpt
Kenneth Gwynne was five years old when his father ran away with Rachel Carter, a widow. This was in the spring of 1812, and in the fall his mother died. His grandparents brought him up to hate Rachel Carter, an evil woman.
She was his mother’s friend and she had slain her with the viper’s tooth. From the day that his questioning intelligence seized upon the truth that had been so carefully withheld from him by his broken-hearted mother and those who spoke behind the hand when he was near,—*from that day he hated Rachel Carter with all his hot and outraged heart. He came to think of her as the embodiment of all that was evil,—*for those were the days when there was no middle-ground for sin and women were either white or scarlet.
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