First published in 1911, his novel The Quest of the Silver Fleece brilliantly combines heartfelt romance with striking social commentary. Set against the turbulent background of the cotton industry—the "silver fleece" that relied on African-American labor and linked Northern finance with Southern politics—the novel introduces "Bles" Alwyn, an ambitious young man who falls in love with a free-spirited woman living in the Alabama swamplands. Faced with a revelation about her past, he follows his dreams to Washington as a senator's assistant. But repelled by the hypocrisy he finds, Bles will return to Alabama, where his most challenging hurdles await him. Powerful and provocative, this stirring novel continues to serve as an important reflection of racial views at the turn of the century.
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