Course Detail
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University Connected Learning
Between 1907 and 1913, novelist and former dentist Zane Grey made several trips into the backcountry along the Utah-Arizona border, an area that was, at that time, still a primitive frontier. Many of the people who befriended him were Mormon settlers who were trying to eke a living out of that harsh, unforgiving land. Grey's attitude toward the Mormons and their culture was a complex, conflicted one, ranging from an overly romantic admiration for their heroic ability to endure the hardships of their lives to a strong disapprobation of their practice of polygamy and the authoritarianism of the church hierarchy. These themes play major roles in his trilogy of novels about the lives of these pioneers in that rugged, beautiful land. Heritage of the Desert (1910), Riders of the Purple Sage (1912), and The Rainbow Trail (1915) are the three novels we will read and analyze in this course. All three are available in multiple editions, including electronic and audio formats.