They were called the Black Angels from the time they first appeared in Minnesota, a crew of black-haired, bright-eyed youngsters, so unlike their flaxen haired father-seven of them there were, and each one forever singing, except Joseph, who could not tell one note from another. Music was a passion with them from childhood. Small wonder, then, that they greeted with enthusiasm Benjy's plan for an Operatic and Concert Troupe; or that they set out with high hearts upon the venture, thinking their old covered wagon a golden caravan."
~Synopsis from the original 1926 book cover
Maud Hart Lovelace's first novel, The Black Angels, was published in 1926. This book is back in print with new cover art by artist David Giester and an afterword written by Julie A. Schrader, which includes historical information and references, as well as news articles from its original release.
Maud began research for her first novel in the summer of 1924, spending hours in the archives at the Minnesota Historical Society reading newspapers, magazines, memoirs and Folwell's History of Minnesota. The story takes place in the fictional Cloudman, Minnesota (Mankato, Minnesota), and opens in the days before the Civil War. In interviews Maud said the idea for the plot came from a family legend of her Uncle Frank, who ran away from home and joined an opera troupe. She based the character of Alex on her uncle, but she based the fictional opera troupe on the Andrews Opera Company.
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