The fascination that "The Choir Invisible" has had for so many thousands of readers is assuredly due as much to the author's faithful historic treatment of the mighty stream of migration which had begun to spread through the jagged channels of the Alleghanies over the then unknown illimitable West as to his power to tell an absorbing story. When "The Choir Invisible" appeared, this perhaps most fascinating period of early American history had not been used as a background of his story by any great master of fiction, and it requires no very keen literary insight to discover the sources of the popularity which has been accorded to the four or five recent novels, each of which has for its setting a period in our history whose glamour has touched our hearts and stirred our imaginations.
Contemporary judgment is singularly unanimous in placing Mr. Allen in the front rank of American novelists, and it may not be out of place here to quote the opinions of two or three of the leading literary critical journals. WILLIAM MORTON PAYNE, in the Dial says that:
"Looking about among our younger men of letters for the promise of some new and vital impulse, it has for several years seemed to us that such an impulse might be expe