Shadows on the Rock

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Shadows on the Rock, written after Willa Cather discovered Quebec City during an unplanned stay in 1928, is the second of her Catholic historical novels and reflects her fascination with finding a little piece of France in eastern Canada. Set in the late seventeenth century, the novel centers on the activities of the widowed apothecary Euclide Auclair and his young daughter, Cecile. To Auclair's house and shop come trappers, missionaries, craftsmen, the indigent-those seeking cures, a taste of France, or liberation from the corruptions caused there by the excesses of the French court. Set against these fictional characters, historical personages such as Bishop Laval, Count Frontenac, and others contend in the political life of the vast colony. This edition, which is approved by the Modern Language Association, will be of special importance to Cather scholars. Not only is Cather's mining of historical sources explored in extensive explanatory notes, but a recently discovered reworked draft of the novel has been incorporated into the textual analysis. There is also a generous illustration section with maps of the setting.