The Rivet in Grandfather’s Neck (1921) is a comic romance novel by James Branch Cabell. Set in a world where history and fantasy collide, where the laws of chivalry and honor continue to hold sway in postbellum South, The Rivet in Grandfather’s Neck is included in a series of novels, essays, and poems known as the Biography of the Life of Manuel. “For Colonel Musgrave was by birth the lineal head of all the Musgraves of Matocton, which is in Lichfield, as degrees are counted there, equivalent to what being born a marquis would mean in England. Handsome and trim and affable, he defied chronology by looking ten years younger than he was known to be.” A man of honor and tradition, Colonel Musgrave comes from a prominent family whose wealth and power once depended on its ownership of slaves. Despite his illustrious title, “won by four years of arduous service at receptions and parades while on the staff of a former Governor of the State,” Musgrave is a librarian whose influence in town depends largely on the esteem of his ancestors. When a distant cousin visits Lichfield, bringing with her the intellect and wit of a modern woman, Colonel Musgrave finds how easily traditions can falter. Set in a fictionalized Southern town, The Rivet in Grandfather’s Neck is a captivating, hilarious tale of chivalry and romance. Cabell’s work has long been described as escapist, his novels and stories derided as fantastic and obsessive recreations of a world lost long ago. To read The Rivet in Grandfather’s Neck, however, is to understand that the issues therein-the struggle for power, the unspoken distance between men and women-were vastly important not only at the time of its publication, but in our own, divisive world. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of James Branch Cabell’s The Rivet in Grandfather’s Neck is a classic of fantasy and romance reimagined for modern readers. show more
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