The Novels of Frances Harper (Hardcover)
The Novels of Frances Harper (2021) collects four works of fiction by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a pioneering figure in African American literature. Minnie's Sacrifice (1869), originally serialized in the Christian Recorder, addresses such themes as miscegenation, passing, and the institutionalized rape of enslaved women using the story of Moses as inspiration. Sowing and Reaping (1876) is a novel concerned with the cause of temperance in a time when Black families were frequently torn apart by alcoholism. Trial and Triumph (1888-1889) is a politically conscious novel concerned with an African American community doing its best to overcome hardship with love and solidarity. Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted (1892) is a story of liberation set during the American Civil War that deals with such themes as abolition, miscegenation, and passing. Minnie's Sacrifice begins on a plantation in the American South. A slave named Miriam mourns the untimely death of her only daughter, Agnes, who succumbed while giving birth to a baby boy, leaving her son in her mother's care. Visiting Miriam's cabin later that day, Camilla, the master's daughter, discovers a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy. Bringing this to the attention of her father, Camilla proposes that the boy be sent away from the plantation to be brought up as white. Trial and Triumph is the story of a young orphan girl. With few opportunities for education, and despite her affinity for reading, Annette faces prejudice and indifference from her community, who remain either cautiously protective of their children or too involved with their own problems to pay heed to another struggling youth. Sowing and Reaping is a tale of friendship and tragedy exploring the concerns of the temperance movement. Paul-whose father died young from alcoholism-always places morality ahead of opportunity, while John, a pragmatist at heart, decides to open a saloon. Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted is the story of Iola Leroy, a free-born woman who was forced into slavery due to her mixed racial heritage. Her father Eugene, a wealthy slaveowner, set Iola's mother free in order to marry her and start a family. When he died from a sudden illness, Eugene left his family in grave danger, and Marie and her children were soon torn from freedom by Eugene's spiteful relatives. These novels by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a groundbreaking nineteenth century writer, inspired such figures as Zora Neale Hurston and Ida B. Wells. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of The Novels of Frances Harper is a classic of African American literature reimagined for modern readers.