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Death Comes for the Archbishop Summary
Willa Cather

Everything you need to understand or teach Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather.

  • Death Comes for the Archbishop Summary & Study Guide
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  • 24 Literature Criticism
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Death Comes for the Archbishop Summary

Introduction

Published in 1927 in New York, Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop is based on the actual lives of Archbishop Lamy, the first bishop of New Mexico, and his vicar, Father Joseph Machebeuf. Both men were from France. When Cather came across Father Joseph Howlett's biography of Machebeuf (published in 1908), she was inspired by the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of pioneer priests and missionaries in New Mexico. Howlett's biography included letters Machebeuf wrote home to his sister, a nun. In Death Comes for the Archbishop, Lamy becomes Bishop Jean Marie Latour, and Machebeuf becomes Father Joseph Vaillant. Although the novel is based on historical figures and information, the bulk of the book is fictionalized. Without the factual information and the insights of Machebeuf's biography, however, Cather may not have been inspired to write the book, nor would she likely have been able to construct such believable, complex characters.

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The Death Comes for the Archbishop Study Pack contains about 460 pages of study material in 34 products, including:

Death Comes for the Archbishop Study Guide

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