Marse Chan by Thomas Nelson Page
The Tale of Old Virginia: Short Story

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Synopsis

Reflecting the ideals of the Lost Cause literary movement—which aimed to celebrate the culture of the American South following the American Civil War—Thomas Nelson Page’s short story, “Marse Chan: The Tale of Old Virginia” paints an idyllic vision of plantation life prior to the outbreak of war. Opening with a northerner’s arrival in Virginia, the narrative is quickly taken up by the former slave Sam, whose tales glorify his former master, Tom Channing, and the once glorious and prosperous Channing Plantation.

Recognized today as one of Page’s most prominent works, “Marse Chan” reflects the complex ideology of life in post-Civil War America, and conveys the chivalry and romance that Page held as essential to life in the South—and which he also believed were destroyed by the aftermath of the Civil War.

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About Thomas Nelson Page

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Thomas Nelson Page was born on April 23, 1853 at Oakland, the family plantation in Hanover County, Virginia. He attended Washington College (now Washington and Lee) but left before he completed his degree. He later attended the University of Pennsylvania as a law student for a year and eventually received his law degree from the University of Virginia. He became a lawyer, a practice he eventually gave up to become a writer. In 1913, he was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson as Ambassador to Italy where he served six years. The primary setting for his works was his home state, Virginia. His titles include "In Ole Virginia," "Old South," "Red Riders," "Negro, the Southerners" and "Social Life in Virginia." He died on November 1, 1922 in Virginia.
 
Published September 3, 2013 by HarperPerennial Classics. 25 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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