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Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa…
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Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)

by Willa Cather

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,592841,468 (4.04)2 / 613
  1. 00
    The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich (noveltea)
  2. 01
    Lamy of Santa Fe by Paul Horgan (inge87)
    inge87: Biography of the real-life Jean Marie Latour — Archbishop Lamy
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Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
The story of Bishop Jean Marie Latour is for anyone who's adventured to a foreign land and then stayed long enough to call it home.

To fully appreciate Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, a gorgeous classic that's as richly textured as a New Mexican sky, I highly recommend some historical pre-reading for context. I'd start with an overview of New Mexico's history during the 19th century, with a specific focus on the events leading up to the Mexico Cession of 1848. This should give the unfamiliar reader a basic foundation of what life was like across this sparse frontier. Keep in mind the Territory of New Mexico was a vast mountainous/desert expanse where Santa Fe, a mere mud village at the time, was the largest city of the North American West for centuries. Further reading could include topics such as a history of Santa Fe, religions of the southwest and a familiarity with the American Indian tribes throughout the region. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Jul 27, 2015 |
One of the very best stories I've ever read. ( )
  TomeBoy | Jul 11, 2015 |
A beautiful story of courage and faith and a glorious reflection of the beauty of New Mexico. Bishop Latour and Father Joseph, two young friends and French priests come to the village of Santa Fe to minister to this area in the mid 19th century. They deal with Indians, Mexican and Americans in this area as it develops. The author has a clear reverence for her characters and their surroundings; this was a joy to read. ( )
  gbelik | Apr 30, 2015 |
Compelling story and writing! Two Catholic missionaries, a bishop and his vicar, friends from seminary days. are sent to New Mexico of the 1880s to reawake the morbid Catholicism of the Spaniards, Mexicans, and Indians living there. This novel consists of 10 vignettes tracing their lives in the mission field, from their arrival in that forbidding territory and their labors among the various classes of people. Then it ends with the deaths of the two men. Cather painted glowing descriptions of the American Southwest, with sympathy for its people. This novel was based on the writings of an actual missionary who lived there at that time. A "must-read." ( )
1 vote janerawoof | Feb 8, 2015 |
Sometimes the forms of piety held up as good examples in the story were a bit repellant to me, but I feel like it accurately describes the attitudes of people living at the time. Overall, I came to sympathize completely with Bishop Latour. It was particularly interesting because of the description of the land of New Mexico--it was very familiar and I could tell Cather had been to NM. I also liked getting a detailed, colorful picture of the mixture of people and cultures in the region at the time. In some ways, it was the same as New Mexico is today. ( )
  TrgLlyLibrarian | Feb 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
Each event in this book is concrete, yet symbolic, and opens into living myth. The reader is invited to contemplate the question: What is a life well lived? This question is asked in a story so fine it brings the old words “wisdom” and “beauty” to life again.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Willa Catherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Byatt, A. S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One summer evening in the year 1848, three Cardinals and a missionary Bishop from America were dining together in the gardens of a villa in the Sabine hills, overlooking Rome.
Quotations
But in reality the Bishop was not there at all [on his sickbed, in his wandering imagination]; he was standing in a tip-tilted green field among his native mountains, and he was trying to give consolation to a young man who was being torn in two before his eyes by the desire to go and the necessity to stay. He was trying to forge a new Will in that devout and exhausted priest; and the time was short, for the diligence for Paris was already rumbling down the mountain gorge.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
One summer evening in the year of 1848 three Cardinals and a missionary, dining in a villa near Rome, decide the fate of a simple parish priest, the Frenchman Jean Marie Latour. He is to go to New Mexico to win for Catholicism the South-West of America, a country where the Faith has slumbered for centuries. There, together with his old friend Father Vaillant, Latour makes his home. To the carnelian hills and ochre-yellow deserts of this almost pagan land he brings the refined traditions of French culture and Christian belief. Slowly, gently he reforms and revivifies, after forty years of love and service achieving a final reconciliation between his faith and the sensual peasant people of New Mexico: a harmony embodied in the realisation of his most cherished dream - a Romanesque cathedral, carved from the Mexican rock, gold as sunlight.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679728899, Paperback)

Willa Cather's best known novel; a narrative that recounts a life lived simply in the silence of the southwestern desert.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:41 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The story of a French priest who goes to New Mexico and with another priest win the southwest for the Catholic Church. After forty years, he dies--the archbishop of Santa Fe.

» see all 5 descriptions

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