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Opal: A Life of Enchantment, Mystery, and Madness

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Opal: A Life of Enchantment, Mystery, and Madness Cover

ISBN13: 9780143034292
ISBN10: 0143034294
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1920 Americans were captivated by the childhood diary of Opal Whiteley, an enigmatic young woman from a small town in the Northwest. The diary, which chronicled adventures in the forests of Oregon at the age of seven, was hailed as a revelatory portrait of a child's relationship to God and the natural world. It became an overnight publishing sensation and Opal, then twenty-two, became a celebrity. Yet the diary-and Opal-was soon dismissed as a hoax. Today the diary has been rediscovered and continues to touch the hearts of many devotees, but Opal's true identity is hotly contested: Was she a New Age prophet and environmentalist, mad genius, long- lost princess, or flamboyant fraud?

Delightfully entertaining and engrossing, Opal tells the story of a beguiling personality and sheds new light on one of the most intriguing literary mysteries of the twentieth century.

Synopsis:

In 1920 Americans were captivated by the childhood diary of Opal Whiteley, an enigmatic young woman from a small town in the Northwest. The diary, which chronicled adventures in the forests of Oregon at the age of seven, was hailed as a revelatory portrait of a child's relationship to God and the natural world. It became an overnight publishing sensation and Opal, then twenty-two, became a celebrity. Yet the diaryand Opalwas soon dismissed as a hoax. Today the diary has been rediscovered and continues to touch the hearts of many devotees, but Opal's true identity is hotly contested: Was she a New Age prophet and environmentalist, mad genius, long- lost princess, or flamboyant fraud?

Delightfully entertaining and engrossing, Opal tells the story of a beguiling personality and sheds new light on one of the most intriguing literary mysteries of the twentieth century.

About the Author

Kathrine Beck has done an excellent job of research and drawn a sympathetic and beguiling portrait of a tragic personality. (Mary S. Lovell, author of The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family)

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

crow, October 30, 2006 (view all comments by crow)
In 1920 a book "The Story of Opal" was published that supposedly was the childhood diary of Opal Whitely, who'd grown up in a small town in Oregon. She describes nature and animals in a way that people either find endearing or twee (I'm in the latter group) and it became a best seller. But it was soon dismissed as a hoax, written by Opal as an adult and tailored to sell to readers who were looking for a return to childhood innocence in the wake of WWI. It's been rediscovered by New Age people and poetic environmentalists and interest in Opal continues. This book attempts to discover the truth about Opal, and to tell what became of her later. I know from a web site about her that she'll end up spending most of her life in an insane asylum.
It has a lively style that I enjoy and since Opal's story involves a lot of odd people (LA faith healers, New England theosophists, New Age writers) it's fascinating.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780143034292
Subtitle:
A Life of Enchantment, Mystery, and Madness
Author:
Beck, Kathrine
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
20041026
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-page b/w photo insert
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.40x5.54x.65 in. .66 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » History
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Oregon » Books About Oregon

Opal: A Life of Enchantment, Mystery, and Madness Used Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143034292 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In 1920 Americans were captivated by the childhood diary of Opal Whiteley, an enigmatic young woman from a small town in the Northwest. The diary, which chronicled adventures in the forests of Oregon at the age of seven, was hailed as a revelatory portrait of a child's relationship to God and the natural world. It became an overnight publishing sensation and Opal, then twenty-two, became a celebrity. Yet the diaryand Opalwas soon dismissed as a hoax. Today the diary has been rediscovered and continues to touch the hearts of many devotees, but Opal's true identity is hotly contested: Was she a New Age prophet and environmentalist, mad genius, long- lost princess, or flamboyant fraud?

Delightfully entertaining and engrossing, Opal tells the story of a beguiling personality and sheds new light on one of the most intriguing literary mysteries of the twentieth century.

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