Willa Cather’s third novel, The Song of the Lark, depicts the growth of an artist, singer Thea Kronborg, a character inspired by the Swedish-born immigrant and renowned Wagnerian soprano Olive Fremstad. Thea’s early life, however, has much in common with Cather’s own.
Set from 1885 to 1909, the novel traces Thea’s long journey from her fictional hometown of Moonstone, Colorado, to her source of inspiration in the Southwest, and to New York and the Metropolitan Opera House. As she makes her way in the world from an unlikely background, Thea distills all her experiences and relationships into the power and passion of her singing, despite the cost. The Song of the Lark presents Cather’s vision of a true artist.
"This authoritative edition of Cather's perhaps least understood novel is a welcome addition to the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition, begun under the general editorship of Susan Rosowski and now under that of Guy Reynolds. The Song of the Lark is important for taking the portraits of European immigrants in the US in O Pioneers! and adding the element of art as it traces the evolution of Thea Kronborg from small-town girl to opera singer acclaimed in Chicago, New York, and Europe. . . . Embellished with handsome photographs and presented in an easy-to-read format, this is a necessary edition for any scholar of Cather."—N. Birns, Choice