Katherine Anne Porter, Old Mortality

Darlene Harbour Unrue (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
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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


Noon Wine

evolved as short novels, and “The Present Day” fed…

1050 words

Citation: Unrue, Darlene Harbour. "Old Mortality". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=14942, accessed 13 April 2024.]

14942 Old Mortality 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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