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The House Behind the Cedars


In "The House Behind the Cedars" Charles W. Chestnut, who so skillfully drew a number of pictures of life on the "other side" of the "color line" in "The Wife of His Youth," has again depicted the tragedy which, in America, accompanies the taint of negro blood. The story appeared originally in Modern Culture, and attracted therein much attention and favorable notice. The heroine is an octoroon, who, half-innocently, wins a white lover, and this, when her slight infusion of negro blood is discovered leads to a denouement tragic in its quiet inevitableness–all the more tragic because so devoid of anything like melodramatic violence. Mr. Chesnutt in his other books has shown himself a master of lucid style. In "The House Behind the Cedars" this quality is not only again in evidence, but is accompanied by a psychological grasp and philosophical depth of understanding that indicate for the author a future of power. It is almost certain that the book will excite opposition and incur condemnation from many critics whose feelings on the "color question" are strong, while from all whose sympathies go out to a race struggling to elevate itself in the face of great odds, and even opposition, it must win appreciation. Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. are the publishers.