SPRAGGE'S CANYON: A Character Study

SPRAGGE'S CANYON: A Character Study
Book ID
Vachell, Horace Annesley:
London: Smith Elder
8vo - over 7? - 9?" tall
Small octavo, blue cloth, title and decoration in white on front, title in gilt across spine, no dust wrapper, slight yellowing and foxing to edges, yellowing to end papers, light foxing occasionally internally, book plate of Theodor Petersen on front end paper, very good condition, 364 pages plus four pages of publisher's list. Punch -"Spragge's Canyon (SMITH, ELDER), takes its title, as you might guess, from the canyon where the Spragges lived. It was a delightful spot, a kind of earthly paradise (snakes included), and the Spragge family had made it all themselves out of unclaimed land on the Californian coast. Wherefore the Spragges loved it with a love only equalled perhaps by the same emotion in the breast of Mr. H. A. VACHELL, who has written a book about it. The Spragges of the tale are Mrs. Spragge, widow of the pioneer, and her son George. With them on the ranch lived also a cousin, Samantha, a big-built capable young woman, destined by Providence and Mrs. Spragge to be the helpmate of George. But George, though he was strong and handsome and a perfect marvel with rattlesnakes (which he collected as a subsidiary source of income), was also a bit of a fool; and when, on one of his rare townward excursions, he got talking to Hazel Goodrich in a street car, her pale attractiveness and general lure proved too much for him. Accordingly Hazel was asked down to the ranch on a visit (I am taking it on trust that Mr. VACHELL knows the Californian etiquette in these matters) and has the time of her life, flirting with the love-lorn George, impressing his mother, and generally scoring off poor Samantha. At least so she thought. Really, however, Mrs. Spragge had taken Hazel's measure in one, and was all the time quietly fighting her visitor for her son's future. This fight, and the character of the mother who makes it, are the best things in the book. I shall not tell you who wins. Personally I had expected a comedy climax, and was unprepared for creeps. But George, I may remind you, collected snakes. A good and virile tale."
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