A Far-Away Melody Preface

Mary E. Wilkins

From A Far-away Melody and Other Stories (David Douglas, Castle Street; Edinburgh: 1902)


These little stories were written about the village people of New England. They are studies of the descendants of the Massachusetts Bay colonists, in whom can still be seen traces of those features of will and conscience, so strong as to be almost exaggerations and deformities, which characterised their ancestors.

These traces are, however, more evident among the older people; among the younger, they are dimmer and more modified. It therefore seems better worth the while to try to preserve in literature still more of this old and probably disappearing type of New England character, although it has been done with the best results by other American authors.

I hope these studies of the serious and self-restrained New England villagers may perhaps give the people of Old England a kindly interest in them, and I have accepted with pleasure the proposal of Mr. Douglas to include A Far-Away Melody in his “Series of American Authors.”

M. E. W.

Dec. 5th, 1889.