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Deeply wounded by her embittered mother's lack of sympathy for her aspirations, Elnora finds comfort in the nearby Limberlost Swamp, whose beauty and rich abundance provide her with the means to better her life.
Set amid Indiana's Limberlost Swamp, this classic mixes astute observations on nature with the struggles of growing up in the early 20th century and the discoveries of independence and romance.
Elnora Comstock, an impoverished young girl growing up on the edge of the Limberlost swamp in Indiana, is a lover of nature who has an opportunity to pay for her education by collecting moths.
A Girl of the Limberlost, a novel by American writer and naturalist Gene Stratton-Porter, was published in August 1909. It is considered a classic of Indiana literature. It is the sequel to her earlier novel Freckles.Patricia Raub (Senior Lecturer of American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston) notes that Stratton-Porter was "one of the most popular woman novelists of the era, who was known for her nature books and her editorials on McCall's 'Gene Stratton-Porter Page' as well as for her novels." Raub writes, "At the time of her death in 1924, more than ten million copies of her books had been sold - and four more books were published after her death."The story takes place in Indiana, in and around the Limberlost Swamp. Even at the time, this impressive wetland region was being reduced by heavy logging, natural oil extraction and drainage for agriculture. (The swamp and forestland eventually ceased to exist, though projects since the 1990s have begun to restore a small part of it.)The novel is set in northeastern Indiana. Most of the action takes place either in or around the Limberlost, or in the nearby, fictional town of Onabasha.The novel's main character, Elnora Comstock, is an impoverished young woman who lives with her widowed mother, Katharine Comstock, on the edge of the Limberlost. Elnora faces cold neglect by her mother, a woman who feels ruined by the death of her husband, Robert Comstock, who drowned in quicksand in the swamp. Katharine blames Elnora for his death, because her husband died while she gave birth to their daughter and could not come to his rescue.The Comstocks make money by selling eggs and other farm products, but Mrs. Comstock refuses to cut down a single tree in the forest, or to delve for oil, as the neighbors around them are doing, even though the added income would make their lives easier.The central character of Stratton-Porter's previous novel, Freckles, is a man whose job it is to patrol and guard valuable timber trees in the Limberlost Swamp. Freckles appears in Girl of the Limberlost as a friend of Elnora.
Deeply wounded by her embittered mother's lack of sympathy for her aspirations, Elnora finds comfort in the nearby Limberlost Swamp, whose beauty and rich abundance provide her with the means to better her life.
Indefatigable orphan Freckles faces some fairly steep obstacles: in addition to having no family, no name, and no knowledge of his own history, the young man has also lived his whole life without a right hand. Will his scrappy attitude and can-do spirit allow him to overcome these challenges and find love, material success and happiness?

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