Katherine Anne Porter: Old Mortality

(1050 words)
  • Darlene Harbour Unrue (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

In the fall of 1927 and the early winter of 1928, when Katherine Anne Porter was living in Salem, Massachusetts, researching the genealogical history of the Mather family for a biography of Cotton Mather, the seventeenth-century Puritan leader whose biography she had signed a contract to write, she was inspired to look into her own ancestral history as a first step toward writing an autobiographical novel she tentatively called “Many Redeemers”. The novel was to have three parts: “Legends of the Ancestors”, “Midway of this Mortal Life”, and “The Present Day”. This particular long novel never came to fruition, but parts of it peeled off as smaller works. From “Legends of the Ancestors” The Old Order and

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Unrue, Darlene Harbour. "Old Mortality". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=14942, accessed 28 September 2016.]