The Quest of the Silver Fleece

The Quest of the Silver Fleece
A Novel

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The Quest of the Silver Fleece by W. E. B. Du Bois

Published:

1911

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The Quest of the Silver Fleece
A Novel

By

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Bles Alwyn, seeking formal education to improve himself, is captivated by Zora, a vivacious, independent woman living outside society. Her shocking past and his ambivalence about how a black man should integrate into American society, drive Bles to pursue a political career in Washington where he meets successful African Americans -- and falls in love -- but he ultimately recoils from the hypocrisies and is compelled to return to Alabama and the mysterious swamp where Zora lives.

Book Excerpt

thousand gone before and the hopes of thousands to come. In her imagination the significance of these half dozen gleaming buildings perched aloft seemed portentous--big with the destiny not simply of a county and a State, but of a race--a nation--a world. It was God's own cause, and yet--

"Bang! bang! bang!" again went the hard knuckles down there at the front.

Miss Smith slowly arose, shivering a bit and wondering who could possibly be rapping at that time in the morning. She sniffed the chilling air and was sure she caught some lingering perfume from Mrs. Vanderpool's gown. She had brought this rich and rare-apparelled lady up here yesterday, because it was more private, and here she had poured forth her needs. She had talked long and in deadly earnest. She had not spoken of the endowment for which she had hoped so desperately during a quarter of a century--no, only for the five thousand dollars to buy the long needed new land. It was so little--so little beside what this woman squan

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