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Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country

Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country by Irving Bacheller
By: (1859-1950)

Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country. Having lost both parents and his home in northern Vermont, orphan Willie Brower is taken in by Eben Holden, "Uncle Eb" who transports him westward to save him from being sent to an orphanage. Through the Adirondacks and into the St. Lawrence valley they travel. Eben is kind, happy, and loves to tell stories to the youngster, many of which were to shape the life and ideals of Willie during his life.

This story follows Willie as a young orphan, later as a journalist, and finally as a soldier who enlists in the army at the outset of the American Civil War. The book was immensely popular when it was published in 1900 and the years to follow, as the characters were all drawn from people who the author had known himself.

First Page:


By Irving Bacheller


Early in the last century the hardy wood choppers began to come west, out of Vermont. They founded their homes in the Adirondack wildernesses and cleared their rough acres with the axe and the charcoal pit. After years of toil in a rigorous climate they left their sons little besides a stumpy farm and a coon skin overcoat. Far from the centres of life their amusements, their humours, their religion, their folk lore, their views of things had in them the flavour of the timber lands, the simplicity of childhood. Every son was nurtured in the love of honour and of industry, and the hope of sometime being president. It is to be feared this latter thing and the love of right living, for its own sake, were more in their thoughts than the immortal crown that had been the inspiration of their fathers. Leaving the farm for the more promising life of the big city they were as men born anew, and their second infancy was like that of Hercules. They had the strength of manhood, the tireless energy of children and some hope of the highest things... Continue reading book >>

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