A Night at Greenway Court

"A Night at Greenway Court"
Author Willa Cather
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Short story
Published in Nebraska Literary Magazine
Publication type Periodical
Publication date June 1896

"A Night at Greenway Court" is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in Nebraska Literary Magazine in June 1896.[1] Four years later a revised version was published in the Library.[2]

Plot summary

In 1752, Richard Morgan — a citizen of Winchester, Virginia — visits his friend Lord Fairfax at nearby Greenway Court. There, he meets Philip Maurepas, a Frenchman who tells them about his years in India. He expresses his disdain for the King, to Viscount Chillingham's dismay. They compare the political orders both in England and in France. Maurepas then attacks Fairfax because of the painting of a woman with a lily that he has. The next day, Fairfax acts regally and Fairfax pretends nothing happened. The narrator concludes that he acted in accordance with his Virginian duty.


References to actual history

Literary significance and criticism

The story has been deemed Poesque.[3] It has also been said to be 'straight out of' William Makepeace Thackeray's Henry Esmond.[4] Others have stressed the influence of John Esten Cooke, who wrote about Greenway Court,[5] or Anthony Hope.[6]


  1. Willa Cather's Collected Short Fiction, University of Nebraska Press; Rev Ed edition, 1 November 1970, page 492
  2. Sheryl L. Meyering, A Reader's Guide to the Short Stories of Willa Cather, G.K. Hall & Co, 1995, p. 157
  3. Mildred R. Bennett, The World of Willa Cather, University of Nebraska Press, 1961, page 5
  4. Catherine M. Downs, Becoming Modern: Willa Cather's Journalism, Susquehanna University Press, 2000, page 141
  5. Bernice Slote, The Kingdom of Art, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1966, p. 41
  6. James Woodress, Willa Cather: Her Life and Art, New York: Pegasus, 1970, p. 28

External links

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