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Sleeping Fires: A Novel

by Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

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About Book

Los Angeles Times, 1922
"Caring little for convention, [Mrs. Atherton] ... usually produces original and striking novels"

New York Times Book Review, 1932
"...a brilliant, very unusual woman, a woman with a clear and capable brain"

Book Description
Sleeping Fires is a gripping Victorian melodrama about Madeleine, a brilliant young woman from Boston who comes to San Francisco after the Civil War as bride of gruff Dr. Talbot. She soon wearies of her successful role in high society and turns to Langdon Masters, an intellectual and journalist from Virginia who reintroduces her to the world of ideas. This launches a shocking series of events that forces Madeleine to take charge and save them both from self-destruction.

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There was no Burlingame in the Sixties, the Western Addition was a desert of sand dunes and the goats gambolled through the rocky gulches of Nob Hill. But San Francisco had its Rincon Hill and South Park, Howard and Fulsom and Harrison Streets, coldly aloof from the tumultuous hot heart of the City north of Market Street. In this residence section the sidewalks were also wooden and uneven and the streets muddy in winter and dusty in summer, but the houses, some of which had "come round the Horn," were large, simple, and stately. Those on the three long streets had deep gardens before them, with willow trees and oaks above the flower beds, quaint ugly statues, and fountains that were sometimes dry. The narrower houses of South Park crowded one another about the oval enclosure and their common garden was the smaller oval of green and roses.

About the Author
Gertrude Atherton became California's first successful woman author by breaking all the rules. Beginning in 1883, when only men were professional writers, she earned a living with her pen. She aggressively sought publicity before such behavior was proper. And she told stories about upper-class women in her native California when others wrote only of the Wild West.



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