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The Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty

The Robber Bridegroom (1942)

by Eudora Welty

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
What an imagination that dear woman had. This original fairy tale set on the American frontier has so many familiar elements skewed in so many ways, its brilliance is just staggering. Welty took the Brothers Grimm and some American tall tales, and scrambled them into something entirely new. And to think it was written by a nice maiden lady from Mississippi. Well, as she said of herself, "A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within."
Review written in 2007 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Apr 30, 2016 |
Once I gave up trying to dig out what this was trying to *say* (an unfortunate habit us former English majors always seem to hang on to) and instead decided to simply enjoy it, it became much better. An odd, magical, strange little story with lush-yet-restrained prose. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
Reading the first couple of pages of Eudora Welty's novel The robber bridegroom is an exhilarating experience. In adopting the writing style of the Brothers Grimm fairy-tales, she creates an entirely novel reading feeling with The robber bridegroom. The style is wonderfully befitting the story. Adopting this prose style to describe this story, which is set in the deep south of the United States shows her masterly talent to create a true novelty novel. It not only shows that the style of the Grimm Brothers can still be used, it can be be transplanted across the Atlantic and works just as natural with local characters in the legendary past of African-American story-telling in Mississippi. By combining the two story telling traditions, Welty gives new depth to the idea of universal literature.

The robber bridegroom does not only feature and antiquated style, the story is set in eighteenth-century Natchez, Mississippi, has characteristics of earlier story-telling traditions, involving somewhat confusing antics, and a multitude of characters, which make the story-line difficult to follow. For example, the story begins with two of the main characters sharing a bed of three bed fellows, a habit occurring quite naturally at that time as travellers sought lodging in inns. This scene introduces two of the main characters, as Jamie Lockhart does Clement Musgrove a good turn. Later on, Lockhart bids for Musgrove's daughter Rosamond.

The robber bridegroom is a wonderful reading experience, but the plot was rather a bit confusing. Not being very familiar with the Brothers Grimm, it is not clear how the story is related to the tale, although this does not seem to matter much. The novel can be read in its own right, as a classic of the Southern novel. ( )
  edwinbcn | Oct 25, 2014 |
A lovely fairy tale full of magic and mystical elements. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
Based on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name, the novella evinces masterful use of narrative compression which gives it the ring of parable. Set before the American Revolution, Clement, a Southern planter who has done quite well for himself, returns home from selling his tobacco to the British and must spend a night in town before traveling to his rural farm the next day. Sharing a bed with two other men, Clement finds himself beholden to one, Jamie Lockhart--a bandit though Clement doesn't know this--for saving his life from the third man who drunkenly tries to rob his bedmates during the night. The next day after a brief confab with Jamie over breakfast the men go their separate ways. Clement goes home to his termagant second wife, Salome, and his daughter, Rosamond, quite beautiful, who was borne by his first wife. Rosamond mostly spends her days singing romantic ballads when not harassed by Salome. The wicked step-mother archetype is alive and well in The Robber Bridegroom--and she's ugly too and out to kill her step daughter for being too beautiful and too central to her husband's affections. Also at work here is the old mistaken identities chestnut best known to me from Elizabethan drama. One day Rosamond returns to the house buck naked after being sent on a dangerous herb-picking expedition by Salome. She has just been robbed--yes, it's Jaime Lockhart in disguise--of a new dress and petticoats bought by her father on his recent business trip. Meanwhile, Clement invites Jamie Lockhart (without mask) to dinner to ask him if he might run the bandit to earth that has molested Rosamond. In exchange for her hand in marriage of course. Rosamond then wanders off and finds the bandits' hideout and commences to cook and clean for them and sleep with Jaime. If the foregoing doesn't wet your whistle, this is not the book for you. Throughout the style is, as I've said, compressed and vivid. Welty has a great gift for the elliptical soliloquy. A fast read and fun. Mandatory for aficionados of the Southern novel. ( )
1 vote William345 | Jun 11, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eudora Weltyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Katherine Anne Porter
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It was the close of day when a boat touched Rodney's Landing on the Mississippi River and Clement Musgrove, an innocent planter, with a bag of gold and many presentes, disembarked.
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Book description
Once upon a time, many many years ago in old Mississippi, there lived a beautiful young girl whose name was Rosamond. She lived in a house in the woods with her father Clement Musgrove and her evil stepmother Salome, whose jealousy of Rosamond knew no bounds. One day, thinking to do her harm, Salome bade Rosamond go far into the depths of the wood. Pinning up her long gold hair and donning her new silk dress, the green of sugar cane, Rosamond set off - there to meet her fate, in the shape of Jamie Lockhart, the dashing young bandit...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156768070, Paperback)

Legendary figures of Mississippi’s past-flatboatman Mike Fink and the dreaded Harp brothers-mingle with characters from Eudora Welty’s own imagination in an exuberant fantasy set along the Natchez Trace. Berry-stained bandit of the woods Jamie Lockhart steals Rosamond, the beautiful daughter of pioneer planter Clement Musgrove, to set in motion this frontier fairy tale. “For all her wild, rich fancy, Welty writes prose that is as disciplined as it is beautiful” (New Yorker).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:51 -0400)

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