The Robinson Library
The Robinson Library >> Linguistics, Languages, and Literatures >> American Literature >> 19th Century
George Washington Cable

author of "Southern" stories

George Washington Cable

George Washington Cable was born in New Orleans, in 1844. His formal education ended at fifteen, when he had to help support his family as a clerk after his father's death. He served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and was wounded twice. After the war he returned to New Orleans, where he married in 1869. The following year he began writing as a columnist and reporter for the New Orleans Picayune.

In 1872 Cable was given access to the city archives so he he could research a series of articles for the newspaper about the city's charities and churches. In those archives he also found materials that he turned into short stories dramatizing the city's record of complex racial and cultural diversity since 1718. The publication of Old Creole Days (1879), a collection of seven stories, established the genre of southern local-color fiction. He followed Old Creole Days with a best-selling novel, The Grandissimes: A Story of Creole Life (1880).

While Cable's works earned him critical acclaim, it also earned him nasty criticism from southern readers, who disliked his essays and speeches advocating full civil rights for African-Americans. The criticism got bad enough that, in 1885, he moved his family to Northampton, Massachusetts. Although he was now a "Northerner," he continued to write novels and short fiction about the South.

George Washington Cable died in 1925.

His Works

Old Creole Days (collection of short stories; 1879)
The Grandissimes: A Story of Creole Life (novel; 1880)
Madame Delphine (1881)
Dr. Sevier
The Creoles of Louisiana (1884)
The Silent South
(essay; 1885)
Bonaventure (1888)
Strange True Stories of Louisiana (collection of short stories; 1889)
The Negro Fiction (essay; 1890)
Strong Hearts (collection of short stories; 1899)
The Cavalier (romance; 1901)
The Flower of the Chapdelaines (collection of short stories; 1918)
Lovers of Louisiana (novel; 1918)

Library of Southern Literature

Civil War

Questions or comments about this page?

The Robinson Library >> Linguistics, Languages, and Literatures >> American Literature >> 19th Century

This page was last updated on 10/18/2017.