"An Environment Remembered": Setting in the Novels of Frances Parkinson Keyes

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1982


When asked about the inspiration for her writings, Frances Parkinson Keyes replied that her books have sprung from various sources: "Sometimes it is an impression, very often it is a real experience.... An anecdote here, an experience there, an environment remembered." An ability to translate a strong sense of the real world, of environments remembered precisely and vividly, is a major factor in Keyes's outstanding success as "one of America's best-loved storytellers." In over thirty novels, from 1919 to 1968, her exhaustively researched and meticulously described settings have appealed to varying interests of readers: the exoticism of the unfamiliar, the fascination with the powerful elite in a region, nostalgia for old customs, and the interest in the establishment of cultural and moral roots within a clearly defined setting.

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