1. StevoR says

    Nice cover art indeed but ..why would you do that to either your violin (?) or your grapevine? Does look good tho’

  2. Jazzlet says

    I thought probably orange trees, but it was a guess. It is pretty, but why would you title a book ‘Moriah’s Mourning’? It doesn’t scream ‘BUY ME!’.

  3. voyager says

    Queen Victoria was spent 40+ years mourning the death of her husband. As a result, mourning was a bit “in-fashion” during her reign.
    I think they look like orange trees, too.

  4. flex says

    This is a case where it is better to judge the cover than the book. The cover has a nice design. The book, which does not include any sex or gore, presents ideas which are degrading to a entire section of society.

    Ruth McEnery Stuart specialized in “Slice of Life” works, mainly dealing with the life of black people working on plantations in the deep south. It is a bit depressing today to know how popular stories and novel caricaturing southern blacks were. These stories invariably showed plantation life as pleasant and that black people are not suited for anything more than labor, and black people are happiest when that’s all they are required to do. These stories generally show black people as happy and often singing and having a great time (often at the expense of the plantation owner). The belief was common, and probably most easily exemplified in the otherwise very funny Marx Brothers Film, A Day at the Races in the song of “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm”. It is not really much of a wonder to me that the Blues developed from black culture.

    The text of the book in question, which is a book of short stories, is available at Project Gutenberg if anyone wishes to read it (I don’t recommend it.) The title story, “Moriahs’ Mourning”, tells of a black woman who became a widow and by attaching black ribbons and fabric to her only blue dress, created a dress to mourn her late husband in. Her dedication to mourning her late husband was noted in her community as greater than typical. Then, a month after her husband died, she announced she was marrying again, to a widower who lost his wife four months prior.

    The plantation owner was informed by Moriah that she needed 4 days off. When the plantation owner inquired into the reason, Moriah said that she felt that the widower’s children needed a firm application of discipline and that the widower himself was allowed by his previous wife to drink all the money he made. Moriah felt that she was going to set that family on the straight and narrow, even though she didn’t love the widower. She re-assured the owner that even though she was going to marry again, she would continue to wear her mourning dress for a full year, and even get married in it. She reconciled her new husband to this state of affairs by buying him a fiddle, which he had wanted for many years but couldn’t afford.

    Thus the fiddle on the cover clearly relates to the first story, and the black ribbons tied to it suggest the mourning ribbons also from the first tale. I couldn’t identify from that story (or the rest in the volume) what the fruit was supposed to be. I imagine orange trees, from the shape of the fruit, flowers, and leaves.

Leave a Reply