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The epic novel of the conversion of Western desert into farmland, The Winning of Barbara Worth is now available in a special commemorative 392-page edition. The new, hard-cover edition has a four-color dustjacket and contains the entire, unabridged text of the author's original 1911 novel, plus an introduction by Harold Bell Wright biographer, Lawrence Tagg, author of Storyteller to America, and a preface by Norman Wright, son of the author. The 392-page, hardcover book ships with a specail 4-color insert detailing the installation of the manuscript of "Barbara" at the Imperial County Historical Society Museum, and an 8-inch by 10-inch frameable portrait of Barbara. While it is a novel, it has a firm historical background, accurately describing the early days of the reclamation of the Imperail Valley of California from desert. Early in the century, Harold Bell Wright was one of the nation's most popular authors. He wrote about the Ozarks before coming West to California for health reasons, briefly making his home at Tecolote Rancho, at Meloland. This ranch, where he raised horses and did general farming, was located in Imperial County, not far from the Mexican border. Barbara is likely the highest-selling book HBW ever wrote, according to Luther Mott, in his Golden Multitudes (Macmillan, 1947), where he quotes an estimated 1.6 million hardcover sales to that date. In The Winning of Barbara Worth, he tells a story of love, rivalries, greed and noble ideals. The setting is the Imperial Valley, where he lived for seven years. The novel is set in the days when the area was being reclaimed from desert by diversion of water from the Colorado River. It has the distinction of placing twice on the country's top ten best-seller list. The special commemorative edition of The Winning of Barbara Worth was commissioned by the Imperial County Historical Society and is limited to 250 numbered copies. Each was to be signed by Norman Wright, son of the author. However, failing eyesight have precluded him signing more than the first 45 of the books. These included all pre-publication sales. His sons signed the remainder. The book contains the entire, unabridged text of the author's novel, plus an introduction by Harold Bell Wright biographer, Lawrence Tagg, author of Storyteller to America, and a preface by Norman Wright. It has all the illustrations and the map from the original Book Supply Company edition. Plus one picture the original did not have: a full-color frontispiece illustration of Barbara. Also, there are informative articles in the six appendices at the end of the book. These special articles describe how the book was written, printed and promoted; the two plays adapted from the book which toured the country; the movie starring Gary Cooper, Vilma Banky and Ronald Colman which was made from the book; Barbara Worth collectibles; and resources where those interested can pursue their interest in the author and his works. Even HBW Internet websites referencing HBW are listed! Each of the appendices is illustrated. Included are stills from the movie, advertisements and reviews of the play, newspaper clippings and a page from an old book catalog.
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"The secret of [Harold Bell Wright’s] power is the same God-given secret that inspired Shakespeare and upheld Dickens." --Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
"It is this almost clairvoyant power of reading the human soul that has made Mr. Wright’s books among the most remarkable works of the present age." --Oregon JournalFrom the Back Cover:
"The secret of [Harold Bell Wright's] power is the same God-given secret that inspired Shakespeare and upheld Dickens." --Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch "It is this almost clairvoyant power of reading the human soul that has made Mr. Wright's books among the most remarkable works of the present age." --Oregon Journal The eastern plains of Colorado hold many secrets, including the origin of an orphaned four-year-old girl found near her dead mother by five weary travelers. The girl, who calls herself "Barba," is adopted by one of the five, wealthy financier Jefferson Worth. In the years that follow, it becomes clear that the fates of Barbara Worth and the plains are inexorably linked, and that--together--they will profoundly alter the destinies of all the men in their lives. Originally published in 1911 with a first printing of 175,000 copies, Harold Bell Wright's moral fable of the ministry of capital followed the tremendous success of his earlier books, That Printer of Udell's, The Shepherd of the Hills, and The Calling of Dan Matthews, all of which are available in paperback editions from Pelican.
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