By Henry Blake Fuller
“Entertaining . . . eminently readable, exceptional via superbly evoked interval surroundings and sly humor.”—The ny Times
America’s first homosexual novel, released in 1919.
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Extra resources for Bertram Cope’s Year
For most of the remainder of his life the example of European civilization would remain a standard that continually fell short in his hometown of Chicago, which to Fuller’s mind was flush with commercial greed, money-making, and an impatience with the uplifting effects of high culture. But Fuller also came of age at a time that witnessed many changes in the city’s aspirations toward a more refined civilization. Several important cultural and educational institutions were established before and after the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
My hair is not ‘on end’—if you are referring to the section on Bertram Cope: your account of the book is the only intelligent one I have encountered” (quoted in Scambray, 153). For some early critics and readers of the book the double reading approach proved to be something of an obstacle to understanding Fuller’s intent. Such readers tended to overlook the way in which Fuller supplied clues to this kind of approach in the fabric of the narrative. A case in point is Basil Randolph’s explanation of cipher experiments in Chapter VII.
He was the scion of a well-to-do family whose roots went back to Puritan New England. His grandfather, a cousin of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, moved first to western New York, where he was a dry-goods merchant, and then to the Middle West. After serving as a county judge in Michigan, he settled his family in Chicago at an auspicious moment in the young city’s history. Still something of a frontier town at the time, Chicago was about to become the most important inland port in the United States, as well as the nation’s main transportation hub.