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The Long Hillside A Christmas Hare-Hunt In Old Virginia 1908   By: (1853-1922)

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In "The Long Hillside: A Christmas Hare-Hunt In Old Virginia 1908," Thomas Nelson Page takes readers on a heartwarming journey into a rural Virginia community during the holiday season. Although the title may not depict it, this delightful novella captures the essence of Christmas spirit and tradition, providing a vivid description of a hare-hunt in ancient Virginia.

Page's writing style is incredibly evocative, transporting readers back in time to a simpler era. He masterfully depicts the unique charm of the Virginian countryside, highlighting the intimate connection between man and nature. Through his detailed descriptions, readers can effortlessly picture the picturesque landscape, smell the crisp winter air, and witness the joyous camaraderie between families and friends.

The characters in this novella are wonderfully developed, each adding their own layer of depth and personality to the story. From the wise and kind-hearted patriarch to the mischievous children brimming with excitement, Page skillfully captures the essence of human relationships and contrasts them against the backdrop of the hare-hunt. The interactions between characters are naturally portrayed, creating a sense of authenticity that draws readers into the story.

Page's attention to historical accuracy is another notable aspect of this novella. He meticulously captures the traditions and values of early 20th-century America, providing readers with a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era. From the detailed portrayals of the hare-hunt etiquette to the descriptions of the rustic festivities that follow, readers are treated to a rich tapestry of customs unique to the time period.

Perhaps what shines brightest in "The Long Hillside" is the powerful theme of community and kinship. Through the lens of the hare-hunt, Page showcases the importance of coming together, regardless of social status or background, to celebrate the season of giving. The bonds forged during this festive event exemplify the true meaning of Christmas, reinforcing the message that the spirit of togetherness transcends any material gifts.

However, some readers may find the pacing of the novella to be slow at times. Page places great emphasis on the descriptive elements, occasionally overshadowing the plot. While this allows for a thorough understanding of the setting and the characters, it may test the patience of those seeking a more action-packed story.

Overall, "The Long Hillside: A Christmas Hare-Hunt In Old Virginia 1908" is an enchanting novella that beautifully captures the essence of the holiday season. Thomas Nelson Page crafts a vivid world replete with well-drawn characters and an evocative setting, ensuring readers are fully immersed in this heartwarming tale. While the pacing may not suit all tastes, this book is perfect for those seeking a nostalgic, feel-good read that celebrates tradition, community, and the joy of Christmas.

First Page:



By Thomas Nelson Page

Charles Scribner's Sons New York, 1908

Copyright, 1891, 1904, 1906


There do not seem to be as many hares now as there used to be when I was a boy. Then the "old fields" and branch bottoms used to be full of them. They were peculiarly our game; I mean we used to consider that they belonged to us boys. They were rather scorned by the "gentlemen," by which was meant the grown up gentlemen, who shot partridges over the pointers, and only picked up a hare when she got in their way. And the negroes used to catch them in traps or "gums," which were traps made of hollow gum tree logs. But we boys were the hare hunters. They were our property from our childhood; just as much, we considered, as "Bruno" and "Don," the beautiful "crack" pointers, with their brown eyes and satiny ears and coats, were "the gentlemen's."

The negroes used to set traps all the Fall and Winter, and we, with the natural tendency of boys to imitate whatever is wild and primitive, used to set traps also. To tell the truth, however, the hares appeared to have a way of going into the negroes' traps, rather than into ours, and the former caught many to our one.

Even now, after many years, I can remember the delight of the frosty mornings;... Continue reading book >>

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