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Lap Time: 1941

Lap Time: 1941

August 1941. "Olaf Ryskedahle and family, tenant purchase borrowers. Freeborn County, Minnesota." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon. View full size.

 

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

A Ryskedahle Reader

Titles include "The Fighting Edge," "The Eyes of the World," "The Country Beyond" and "Storm Country Polly."

The primrose path

Once more Shorpy has led this innocent down ...

"The Eyes of The world" by Harold Bell Wright was the only title I could make out. Having found the book and author, I was led to read the Wright's Wikipedia entry and discovered that he was the first American novelist to sell a million copies and the first to make a million writing fiction.

Very popular with the public, but as often the case of popular writers, Wright had some detractors in his time.

Owen Wister (author of "The Virginian") laid it on thick. “I doubt if the present hour furnishes any happier symbols [of the quack novel] than we have in Mr. Wright [and The Eyes of the World]. It gathers into its four hundred and sixty pages all the elements ... of the quack-novel. It is,” Wister says, “stale, distorted, a sham, a puddle of words,” and “a mess of mildewed pap.”

It was also number one on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for 1914.

Once again, Shorpy has seduced me into a pleasant afternoon romp thru Americana. Wright's "Shepherd of The Hills" was made into a movie starring John Wayne while Wister's "The Virginian," with Joel McCrea, are two of my all time favorites.

Thank you.

And one last rabbit to chase. Is our Mr. Ryskedahle a distant cousin Rudolf Rassendyll (Prisoner of Zenda)?

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