The Village Watch-Tower
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
These days the name of Kate Douglas Wiggin is virtually unknown.
But if one mentions the title "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," recognition
(at least in America) is instant. Everyone has heard of Rebecca;
her story has been in print continuously since it was first
published in 1903. It is certainly Mrs. Wiggin's most famous book,
and the only one of her many books that is still in print.
Everything else she wrote has slipped into complete obscurity.
Occasionally in an antique shop, one may still find a copy of her
immensely popular seasonal book, "The Birds' Christmas Carol", but that
is about the extent of what is readily available, even second-hand.
In 1904, Jack London wrote (from Manchuria!) to say that
Rebecca had won his heart. ("She is real," he wrote, "she lives;
she has given me many regrets, but I love her.") Some eighty years
later I happened to pick up and read "Rebecca" for the first time.
The book was so thoroughly enjoyable that when I had finished it,
I began at once a search for other works by the same author--
especially for a sequel to "Rebecca", which seemed practically to demand one.
There was never a sequel written, but "The New Chronicles of Rebecca"