Hamlin Garland The Light of the Star

ISBN 13: 9781492112631

The Light of the Star

 
9781492112631: The Light of the Star
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A Review from The Literary World, volume 35, 1904:

MR. GARLAND, in his latest novel, abandons the plains, the soldiers, and the Indians in their war-paint, and writes of New York, with its rush for wealth and pleasure, and the tinsel and glitter of the stage. It is difficult to imagine that the same hand wrote the “ The Light of the Star,” and yet the new story shows the same force that characterizes Mr. Garland’s dashing romances of the West, and there is the same wholesome flavor about it all.

This novel is more than a mere story, it is a sermon, a well-delivered, well—deserved warning against the downward tendency of the stage. It shows how the people to-day attend the theatre only to be amused, or for even less commendable reasons, and how one actress, led by love and the influence of a forceful, conscientious man, whose mission was not so much to uplift the stage as a whole, but to turn one woman from degrading roles to those of purity, does succeed, after great sacrifice, in filling the theatre with an audience which appreciates literature and art. The hero is a stubborn young man, perhaps because of Scottish ancestry, and he certainly is egotistical; he admits this himself, and yet he battles for a principle, struggles long and desperately; sacrifices even the woman he loves for a time; but he triumphs in the end, and it is all pictured so vividly that one cannot help believing in it and wishing that there were more real play— wrights like George Douglass, and more real actresses like Helen Merival. The theatre is seen from all sides. and the view is given by one who is well acquainted with his subject; the story shows that he knows it as well as he knows the Indians and the plains, so the picture is accurate and valuable. There is only one romance in it all; but it is sufficient, it pervades the whole story, and is skilfully carried along; its course at first is smooth, then signs of a storm appear; it be— comes very rough ; but. like all good love-stories, it finds a haven in the end, and the victory of Douglass is complete. It is all a very interesting story, — it is doubtful if Mr. Garland could write any other kind; but one cannot help liking him a little better among the Indians.

And yet. we have more good writers of Indian tales and the Wild West than we have of the stage—a curious state of affairs, it would seem. considering that so many more people supposedly able to write. are in direct communication with the stage than with the Indians.

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Garland, Hamlin
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