Blood on the Rock: Cather's Southwestern History

Graham, Thomas Austin

This essay studies the methodology and findings of two historical novels by Willa Cather, The Professor's House and Death Comes for the Archbishop. It begins by comparing Cather's historical approach with that of Herbert Bolton, a pioneer of hemispheric history and a possible prototype for the academic protagonist of The Professor's House. The essay then proceeds by considering Cather's depiction of the US-Mexico borderlands in Death Comes for the Archbishop from a Boltonian perspective, finding the novel to be a portrait of the American mind as it suppresses, evades, and otherwise comes to terms with the realities of its post-1848 imperialism.


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American Literary History

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Academic Units
English and Comparative Literature
Oxford University Press
Published Here
March 22, 2016