Chesnutt's Works

Reviews

Bibliography

Manuscripts

Related Links

Home

Chesnutt in the Classroom

Site Info

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN
FIRESIDE DEPARTMENT
Stories of Several sizes.

--"The Conjure Woman," by CHARLES W. CHESNUTT, was a pleasant surprise to us last year; and while "The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line" (Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston; A. H. Clapp, Albany--$1.50) lack the charming personal note that bound the former series of tales together--are more stories and less a record of actual conditions--they are nevertheless very good stories. Mr. Chesnutt hardly puts his best foot first--or second either for that matter; we should have been inclined to begin with some of the later stories, say "The Passing of Grandison." But "The Wife of His Youth" and "Her Virginia Mammy" are both interesting as opening that little known country, the borderland between the two races, where black is almost white and yet to the white altogether black--a place of sorry tragedies in slavery times, and darkened even now by clinging prejudices, as noticeable in the North as in the South--darkened also by the grewsome belief that the almost white mother married to a white husband may bear a coal-black child.

-----

Rev. of The Wife of His Youth in "Fireside Department," The Country Gentleman 65 (1 Mar 1900): 180.