Trail of the Lonesome Pine

byJohn Fox Jr., Illustrated by F. C. Yohn

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The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is set in the Appalachian Mountains and examines a long-standing family feud between the Falins and the Tollivers, somewhat based on the life of “Devil John” Wesley Wright. The work examines the impact that industrialization and mining have had on the region, set behind a tale of romance and revenge. The Trail of the Lonesome Pine was a best-selling novel in both 1908 and 1909, and went on to several adaptations for the stage, and four times as a film, in 1914, 1916, 1923 and finally in 1936.

The work was written by John Fox, Jr. (1862-1919) who worked as a reporter for the New York Times, the New York Sun, Scribner’s and Harper’s Weekly. He wrote a series of short stories, some becoming fairly successful like The Kentuckians (1898). Fox served as a war correspondent during the Spanish-American War and the Russo- Japanese War, but continued to write a variety of short stories. He also wrote longer fiction, and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, along with The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come became his most popular works. He died of pneumonia in 1919, while living in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. His home was turned into a museum honoring his life and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.