Highlighting Underappreciated Authors: Gene Stratton-Porter

I was inspired to write this post after seeing some mentions of Gene Stratton-Porter novels on Instagram (its very rare to see).

I remember hearing about these novels as a preteen, Freckles first although I think Girl of the Limberlost is the most famous. I think I skimmed Freckles and then Mom assigned me Girl of the Limberlost, not sure.

Geneva Stratton-Porter was an Indiana native who used her novels to try to interest the public in nature and nature preservation. Indiana has a state park where she lived, and I think perhaps Loblolly marsh, which is near, might be what’s left of the Limberlost (it sounds like the swamp was drained from what I can read, so maybe this is just a connected or revitalized swamp). I’d like to visit there someday.

I’ve also read Laddie (set in Indiana, but not Limberlost, I think fictionalized novel bio tribute about her brother), The Harvester (also Limberlost), and Keeper of the Bees (set in California). I’ve reread the first and the last. I think the the latter two are my favorite, but I haven’t reread The Harvester.

The sentimental emotionalism was more suited to my teenage and early twenties temperament, but they are definitely worth reading and some one less cynical would still appreciate some of the emotionalism.

I’ve also read At the Foot of the Rainbow which I greatly disliked seeing as how I rated in one-star.

I think she wrote several more that I’ve not read, but Freckles, Girl of the Limberlost, Laddie, and Keeper of the Bees are the best known (and successful I think or at least the first three maybe), and I also recommend The Harvester.


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