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Baylor, Frances Courtenay.

LETTERS: ALS to an editor.

Letter(s)

Letter from Frances Courtenay Baylor to an Unidentified Editor
Baylor, Frances Courtenay. Autograph letter signed, "Frances Courtenay Baylor," to "My dear Sir." "Near Winchester, Virginia," May 18, NY; one leaf folded to make four pages; three sides covered in black ink; a few pin holes; two small spots.
Baylor sends a submission [not present] and queries the editor about potentially publishing her work. She provides background on her writing: "I have been so much charmed lately by some Spanish prose sketches…that I have translated a volume of them which I mean eventually to issue in book-form." She goes on to explain her enclosure, the first part in a series, which would, "both as to length & literary merit…be suited to your columns." She closes by asking that, should the editor publish her writing, "I shall ask you to oblige me by taking out the copy-right in my name -- & to permit me the privilege of correcting my own proof."
Frances Courtenay Baylor (1848-1920) was an author of popular fiction who wrote novels and short stories as well as essays and poems. She began her career writing pseudonymous prose sketches for newspapers. Later, she began to write short stories and poems for magazines and journals under her own name.
Her literary style reflected the fashions of late nineteenth-century America, with dramatic, instructive, sentimental plots and genteel characters. Though many of her works were set in Europe or Mexico, Baylor's 1887 novel Behind the Blue Ridge diverged from this pattern, depicting farmers and homesteaders of western Virginia. Reviews of the work praised her lively characterizations and her ability to convincingly capture the social customs and speech patterns of Blue Ridge pioneers.
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