If you want to know why The Daughter of Anderson Crow was a bestseller, look at B. Martin Justice’s illustrations.
If you want to know what’s wrong with the novel, look at Justice’s illustrations.
The Daughter of Anderson Crow by George Barr McCutcheon
B. Martin Justice, illus. Dodd, Mead 1907. 1907 bestseller #3. Project Gutenberg ebook #14818. My Grade: B-.
George Barr McCutcheon’s starts out writing a funny novel about Anderson Crow, Tinkletown marshal, fire chief, and street commissioner who is just smart enough to not let Tinkletown see how dumb he is.
That first part of the novel is illustrated with cartoonish line drawings as funny as McCutcheon’s text.
The second part of the story is about Rosalie Gray, who the Crows raised like a daughter after finding her in a basket on their doorstep one winter night.
Her parentage was a mystery that even self-proclaimed super-sleuth Anderson Crow couldn’t solve.
A note in the basket said the Crows would receive $1000 a year to raise the child.
No one around Tinkletown had that kind of money.
The illustrations for Rosalie’s life as a young woman are lush scenes, suited to the Gothic romance style McCutcheon adopts whenever he focuses on her.
Eventually McCutcheon gets Rosalie suitably married, and turns his attention back to Anderson Crow long enough to give readers one final laugh before the novel ends.
© 2017 Linda Gorton Aragoni