The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Perennial Classics)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Perennial Classics)

Thornton Wilder

Language: English

Pages: 138

ISBN: 0060088877

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This beautiful new edition features unpublished notes for the novel and other illuminating documentary material, all of which is included in a new Afterword by Tappan Wilder.

"On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below." With this celebrated sentence Thornton Wilder begins The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of the towering achievements in American fiction and a novel read throughout the world.

By chance, a monk witnesses the tragedy. Brother Juniper then embarks on a quest to prove that it was divine intervention rather than chance that led to the deaths of those who perished in the tragedy. His search leads to his own death -- and to the author's timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition.

This new edition of Wilder’s 1928 Pulitzer Prize winning novel contains a new foreword by Russell Banks.

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permit them to rage at him for as long as they pleased; but after that he took to pressing his hand firmly over his brother’s mouth during the moments of greatest stress. This increased Manuel’s personal rage at him and he would babble all through the night. On the third night Esteban sent for the priest, and amidst the enormous shadows Manuel received the sacrament, and died. Thereafter Esteban refused to come near the building. He would start off upon long walks, but presently drifting back,

of the Andes and at the streams of stars crowding for ever across the sky. And there was that wraith hanging in mid-air and smiling at him, the wraith with the silvery voice that said for the thousandth time: ‘Don’t be gone long. But I’ll be a big girl when you get back.’ Then he went within and carried Esteban to his room and sat looking at him for a long while. The next morning he was waiting at the bottom of the stairs when Esteban appeared: ‘We’re starting when you’re ready,’ said the

servant, as a mechanical object. Uncle Pio never ceased watching Camila because it seemed to him that she had never undergone this initiation. In the months that followed her introduction to the Viceroy he held his breath and waited. He held his breath for years. Camila bore the Viceroy three children, yet remained the same. He knew that the first sign of her entrance into the true possession of the world would be the mastery of certain effects in her acting. There were certain passages in the

city. It was said for a time that she was retiring into religion. But new rumours that all was fury and despair on the little farm contradicted the old. For those near to her the despair was fearful to behold. She was convinced that her life was over, her life and her children’s. In her hysterical pride she had given back more than she owed, and the approach of poverty was added to the loneliness and the gloom of her future. There was nothing left for her to do but to draw out her days in jealous

could only be remembered by a society that had nothing else to think about. He nursed his little aristocracy and its minute distinctions, and any insult paid to a Marquesa was an insult to His Person. In the second place, Doña María’s son-in-law was an increasingly important personage in Spain, laden with possibilities of injury to the Viceroy, nay, with the possibility of supplanting him. The Conde Vicente d’Abuirre must not be vexed, even through his half-wit mother-in-law. Finally, the

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