Westways: A Village Chronicle

Westways: A Village Chronicle

by S. Weir Mitchell

Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe) Publication Date: 11/07/2015


A classic novel by S. Weir Mitchell. From the preface: 
There will be many people in this book; some will be important, others will come on the scene for a time and return no more. The life-lines of these persons will cross and recross, to meet once or twice and not again, like the ruts in a much used road. To-day the stage may be crowded, to-morrow empty. The corner novels where only a half dozen people are concerned give no impression of the multitudinous contacts which affect human lives. Even of the limited life of a village this is true. It was more true of the time of my story, which lacking plot must rely for interest on the influential relations of social groups, then more defined in small communities than they are to-day. 
Long before the Civil War there were in the middle states, near to or remote from great centres, villages where the social division of classes was tacitly accepted. In or near these towns one or more families were continuously important on account of wealth or because of historic position, generations of social training, and constant relation to the larger world. They came by degrees to constitute what I may describe as an indistinct caste, for a long time accepted as such by their less fortune-favoured neighbours. They were, in fact, for many years almost as much a class by themselves as are the long-seated county families of England and like these were looked to for helpful aid in sickness and in other of the calamities of life. The democrat time, increasing ease of travel and the growth of large industries, gradually altered the relation between these small communities, and the families who in the smaller matters of life long remained singularly familiar with their poorer neighbours and in the way of closer social intimacies far apart. 
It seemed to me worth while to use the life of one of these groups of people as the background of a story which also deals with the influence of politics and war on all classes.

Classic fiction
Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe)
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