Katherine Anne Porter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider

Darlene Harbour Unrue (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
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In the fall of 1927 and the winter of 1928, while Katherine Anne Porter was living in Salem, Massachusetts, and completing genealogical research for a biography of Cotton Mather, she was inspired to research her own family history as a first step toward an autobiographical novel she intended to write. Although that novel, which she tentatively titled “Many Redeemers”, was never completed as a coherent whole, parts of it became the basis for various sketches, short stories, and short novels.

Old Mortality


The Old Order

, and

Pale Horse, Pale Rider

, all sections of the unfinished novel, constitute the so-called “Miranda Cycle” within Porter’s



Pale Horse, Pale Rider, published in The Southern Review in 1939, was the last segment of the cycle to be written, and it takes up

992 words

Citation: Unrue, Darlene Harbour. "Pale Horse, Pale Rider". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2979, accessed 13 April 2024.]

2979 Pale Horse, Pale Rider 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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