A Lost Lady by Willa Cather

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by Willa Cather

Novel Literary Fiction The Decline of the American Frontier Idealism vs. Reality The Complexity of Human Relationships

2 hours 50 minutes

A Lost Lady is a novel written by Willa Cather and published in 1923.

The book chronicles the lives of Marian Forrester and her husband, Captain Daniel Forrester. They both live in the town of Sweet Water along the Transcontinental Railroad. Niel Herbert is a young man who grew up in said city and witnesses the slow decline of Marian, for whom he falls in love with what she represents, and also the decline of Western society from the idealized era of the pioneers to the current capitalist system.

Throughout the book Marian is pursued by a variety of suitors, as her social decline also deepens.

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, is heavily influenced by this book. Marian Forrester partly inspired Fitzgerald's Daisy Buchanan.


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A Lost Lady by Willa Cather is believed to be out of copyright restrictions only in the United States. It may still be copyrighted in other countries. If you are not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to make sure that the contents of this eBook are free from copyright restrictions in the country where you are located in before downloading A Lost Lady in PDF or ePub.

We recommend this book for

Readers of American classics Fans of character-driven narratives Those interested in societal changes in early 20th-century America

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About Willa Cather

Willa Sibert Cather was an American writer. In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, a novel set during World War I.

We have 8 books by Willa Cather in Alice and Books library

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The best A Lost Lady quotes

He was proud now that at the first moment he had recognized her as belonging to a different world from any he had ever known.


Tears flashed into her eyes. "That's very dear of you. It's sweet to be remembered when one is away." In her voice there was the heart-breaking sweetness one sometimes hears in lovely, gentle old songs.


"I could feel his heart pump and his muscles strain," she said, "when he balanced himself and me on the rocks. I knew that if we fell, we’d go together; he would never drop me."


The world did not seem over-bright to young people just then.


Her husband had archaic ideas about jewels; a man bought them for his wife in acknowledgement of things he could not gracefully utter.

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