One of the greatest ethical novels of the nineteenth century, this is a tale of true love tested. Set in Old California, this powerful narrative richly depicts the life of the fading Spanish order, the oppression of tribal American communities and inevitably, the brutal intrusion of white settlers. Ramona, an illegitimate orphan, grows up as the ward of the overbearing Senora Moreno. But her desire for Alessandro, a Native American, makes her an outcast and fugitive…
“If I could write a story that would do for the Indian a thousandth part of what Uncle Tom’s Cabin did for the Negro,” wrote Helen Hunt Jackson, “I would be thankful the rest of my life.” Jackson surpassed this ambition with the publication of Ramona, her popular 1884 romantic bestseller.
A beautiful half Native American, half-Scottish orphan raised by a harsh Mexican ranchera, Ramona enters into a forbidden love affair with a heroic Mission Indian named Alessandro. The pair’s adventures after they elope paint a vivid portrait of California history and the woeful fate of Native Americans and Mexicans whose lands and rights were stripped as Anglo-Americans overran southern California.
Set from the first American edition of 1884, this Modern Library Paperback Classic includes José Martí’s 1888 prologue (translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen).
“Ramona is a second Uncle Tom’s Cabin. . . . The arrogant mestiza whose attachment to her Indian lover endures through persecution and death . . . and the desperate love they share until the vanquishing blond race casts them out like hunted animals . . . all this is alive in these pages.” –José Martí