Marshall, Catherine: Christy
(researched by Elizabeth Sekinger)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
The fist edition is published by McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1967.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition is published in both cloth and paper. The spine is bound in cloth and the front and back covers in paper.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
256 leaves, i-ix, x-xi, xii-xiv, 1-496, 497-498 i. Title ii. Blank iii. Books written or edited by Catherine Marshall iv. Blank v. Title page vi. Publication page vii. Dedication page viii-ix. Map x-xi. The characters xii. Song excerpt xiii. Title xiv. Blank 1-7. Prologue 8. Blank 9-496. 497. About the Author 498. Blank
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
There is a seven page prologue written by the author.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
There is one illustration at the beginning of the novel. It is a two-paged black and white map entitled CUTTER GAP, TENNESSEE IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS 1912. The illustrator is not given.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The book is 22 by 14 cm with a burgundy-colored spine and front and back covers in deep magenta. The title is imprinted on the front cover in a cursive font approximately 6 cm high. The spine has the title, author and publishing company all written in gold caps.
The book has a dust jacket of a lighter burgundy color than the spine with the author's name in a mustard color in large caps. The title on the dust jacket is a cream color in the same cursive style as the title page, the book cover, and the spine. It is approximately 15 cm high.
The dimension of the page is 21 by 13.5 cm with margins of 1.5 cm on all sides. The length of the line is 10.5 cm and there are 38 lines per page. There is adequate spacing between the lines; the text is easy to read. The font is Times New Roman 12 pt. The ink is bold and there are no smudges. The typography is very readable and well printed.
The chapter number is spelled out in bold and italics approximately 1 cm high. The first three or so words of each chapter are all printed in capitals.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper is thick with smooth edges all around. It is a rich, creamy white color. There is foxing of the edges but other than that the paper has held up exceptionally well. There are no tears or folds and all pages are present.
11 Description of binding(s)
The book is quarter bound; the spine is in cloth and the front and back flaps are in paper. The cloth used in the binding of the spine is unglazed and resembles heavy linen. The binding is firm and has a hollow back. There is rounding of the back and the book has a "French Joint". No pages are loose or falling out. The binding is excellent; it isn't too stiff and it isn't too loose.
12 Transcription of title page
CATHERINE | MARSHALL | Christy | McGraw-Hill Book Company /New York / Toronto / London / Sydney
* the | denotes a skip to the next line
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Catherine Marshall's manuscript holdings are located in the Special Collections Department in McCain Library of Agnes Scott College, 141 E. College Avenue, Decatur, GA. 30030. They are cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
The book is dedicated to "Lenora".
There is an extensive Character list covering two full pages of the text, featured on page x-xi.
There are 8 lines printed of the song "Down in the Valley" printed on page xii: Down in the valley, valley so low Hang your head over, hear the wind blow. Hear the wind blow, love, hear the wind blow; Hang your head over, hear the wind blow.
The page numbers are found in the center at the bottom of each page surrounded by brackets.
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
There are two other editions of Christy published by McGraw-Hill.
Christy [Book Club ed.] New York: McGraw-Hill; 1967 447 p.; 22cm
Christy McGraw-Hill Book Company; 1994 501 p.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
There are three printings of the first edition Christy
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
There are eight subsequent editions of Christy published by other publishers:
Christy New York, Avon; 1967
Christy New York, Avon; 1968 501 p.; 18 cm
Christy Spire ed. "Spire Books" New York, Avon; 1969, 1967 501 p.
Christy London: Peter Davies; 1967 495 p.; 23cm
Christy London, P. Davies; 1968 496 p.; 23 cm
Reader's Digest Condensed Books: Volume IV, autumn selections 1967 1st ed. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest Association; 1967 599 p.; 20 cm
Christy [large print ed.] G.K. Hall large print book series Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall; 1987 1967 691 p. (large print)
Christy Hodder and Stoughton; 1991 442 p.
*The Avon books are all paperbacks. The current Avon edition's cover includes a picture of Christy Huddleston, the main character of the novel Christy as played by Kellie Martin in the hit television mini-series Christy which aired in 1994
-1995 on CBS.
6 Last date in print?
Christy is still currently in print.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
According to Hackett's 80 Years of Best Sellers, 1895- 1975 3,797,732 copies of Christy had been sold as of 1975.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
According to Publisher's Weekly of November 13, 1967 up until Augus
t 19, 1968 sales for Christy reached:
101,558 in 1967 and 151,000 as of August 1968.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
In The New York Times Book Review for October 22, 1967 Adele Silver gives an account of the novel Christy in her article entitled, "Doing Good"
"Her first novel, '"Christy,"' is the same mixture of family, faith and fortitude, as her non-fiction works... In the author's genteel hands, the story is not entirely lost; in the end, it becomes a tract instead of a novel. Whenever the going gets r
ough, Mrs. Marshall sits very still with her characters and waits for God to tell them what to do. Christy and her fellow mission workers are conscientious soldiers in His army."
In the Library Journal for 1967 Elizabeth Thalman found that
"Mrs. Marshall claims that she herself '"scarcely knew where truth stopped and fiction began."' She gives a clear impression of the proud Scotch-Irish mountaineers and their harsh, lonely loves and some nice descriptions of the changing seasons in the
mountains."
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
A21019990305141932.jpg
11 Other promotion
N/A
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Christy debuted Easter Sunday, April3, 1994 on CBS. It was the highest-rated series for an Easter Sunday in six years. The television series was so popular that twenty additional episodes aired in the
spring of 1994 and the rest were broadcast during the spring and summer of 1995. The episodes starred Kellie Martin, Tyne Daly and Tess Harper.
1. Christy (PILOT) CBS Air Date: April 3, 1994
2. Lost and Found April 7, 1994
3. Both Your Houses April 14, 1994
4. A Closer Walk April 21, 1994
5. Judgement Day April 28, 1994
6. Eye of The Storm May 5, 1994
7. Amazing Grace May 5, 1994
8. The Sweetest Gift November 24, 1994
9. To Have and To Hold April 15, 1995
10. The Hunt April 22, 1995
11. A Man's Reach April 29, 1995
12. Ghost Story June 14, 1995
13. Echoes June 21, 1995
14. The Lie June 28, 1995
15. Green Apples July 5, 1995
16. The Hostage July 12, 1995
17. Babe in the Woods July 19, 1995
18. Second Sight July 26, 1995
19. The Road Home August 2, 1995
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
(German) Christy Friedrich Bahn 1970 448 p.
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
The hit television mini-series Christy sparked a new interest in the novel. As a result, a series of young adult's books were published entitled The Christy Fiction Series. These books are written by C. Archer and they contain exp
anded adventures of the beloved heorine Christy.
1. The Bridge to Cutter Gap Dallas, Texas: Word Pub., 1995 120 p. 2. Silent Superstitions Dallas, Texas: Word Pub., 1995 120 p. 3. The Angry Intruder Dallas, Texas: Word Pub., 1995 120 p. 4. Midnight Rescue Dallas, Texas: Word Pub., 1995 118 p. 5. The Proposal Dallas, Texas: Word Pub., 1996 119 p. 6. Christy's Choice Dallas, Texas: Word Pub., 1996 118 p. 7. The Princess Club Dallas, Texas: Word Pub., 1996 120 p. 8. Family Secrets Dallas, Texas: Word Pub., 1996 117 p. 9. Mountain Madness Nashville, Tenn: T. Nelson, 1997 113 p. 10. Stage Fright Nashville, Tenn: T. Nelson, 1997 113 p. 11. Goodbye, Sweet Prince Nashville, Tenn: T. Nelson, 1997 115 p. 12. Brotherly Love Nashville, Tenn: T. Nelson, 1997 115 p.
------------------------- Books 1-8 of the Christy Fiction Series are also printed in braile through the Clovernook Printing House for the Blind publishing Company. These series editions were printed in 1997.
------------------------- A sequel to the last television mini-series installment was written in 1995:
Fishel, Anna Wilson Christy Grand Rapids, Mish: F.H. Revell, 1995
-------------------------
There are multiple Christy enthusiasts who have composed multiple Christy sites on the web; fanfiction is abundant under the following website: http://members.tripod.com/~RoundRobin/ARCHIVE/archive.html
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Catherine Marshall was born September 27, 1914, in Johnson City, Tennessee to John Ambrose (a minister) and Leonara Wood. She grew up with a strong religious background that stayed with her all her life which is
very apparent in her writings. These religious convictions only proved to strengthen in her first marriage to Peter Marshall, who was a minister and the chaplain of the U.S. Senate (Darrell, Look; March 1956). The two were married November 4, 193
6, the same year Catherine graduated with a B.A. from Agnes Scott College. The couple had one child, a boy, named Peter John who was consequently the only child Catherine Marshall ever had. Ten years after Peter's death, Catherine married for the secon
d and last time to her editor and publisher, Earle LeSourd (Gale Literary Databases). Catherine Marshall did not attempt to start her literary career until she was 37, two years after the death of her first husband. Despite this late start, Marshall was able to publish 21 works including a best selling novel, a best selling biography of h
er late husband, a book of poems, prayers and many others (New York Times Book Review; October 1967). She was named "Woman of the Year" 1953 for her literary achievements, received Paperback of the Year Award in 1969 for Christy, and an Ame
rican Book Award nomination in 1980 for The Helper (Gale Literary Databases). The inspirational writings of Catherine Marshall have been enormously popular in part because they appeal to both the young and old. Marshall wrote with "grace and charm" about the things she knew most well which just happened to be her own religion and
family (Marshall, Reader's Digest; July 1953). In fact, the novel Christy, which is about a young girl who goes to the wild mountains of Cutter Gap, Tennessee, to teach school is modeled after her mother's life experiences as a young woma
n. Some other widely known books include A Closer Walk, Beyond Our Selves, Something More, Julie, and The Helper (Gale Literary Databases).
After a productive and spiritual life, Catherine Marshall died of heart failure on March 18, 1983 at the age of 68, in Boynton Beach Florida where she and LeSourd lived. McGraw Hill Publishers and Chosen Books Publishing (of which Marshall was a treasure
r and partner) were Catherine Marshall's primary publishers and Earle LeSourd was her editor. All of Marshall's manuscripts are located in the Special Collections Department in the McCain Library of Agnes Scott College in Decatur Georgia, where she att
ended college (Gale Literary Databases).
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Catherine Marshall was already a well-known author by the time she published Christy in 1967, however, this marked her first attempt at a novel. The novel gained instant success and spent 10 months on the bestseller's list. Marshall was quoted as saying "that the way America is thinking today is responsible for the book's sale, particularly after the violence in our country" and that "perhaps America has returned to the basic human values so necessary to our survival" (Peterson, 1968). Despite this success and Marshall's own faith in the American public, response from critics did not prove to be overly positive.
One of the main problems critics had with Christy was its "sentimental[ity] and trite[ness]," and the New York Times Book Review even described the novel as a "swampy ground for a plot already over burdened with heavy-handed sincerity" (6). Christy is often compared to Marshall's earlier non-fiction works and "like them, is long on heart, short on art..." (6). A Publisher's Weekly critic thought, however, that these characteristics, combined with the heroine's courage and enthusiasm "should be a big best seller with the ladies who like true-to-life romantic inspirational reading" (5). For readers who look for strong religious overtones, the novel would certainly prove to be a good read.
Critics seem to find fault with the length of the novel. In fact, two different critics thought it necessary to comment on it. However, the Publisher's Weekly critic "found plenty of material for drama [throughout the book], and [discussed how] Mrs. Marshall's story is exciting" (5) and "filled with suspense and excitement" (2). Another critic strongly counteracts this claim further stating that "the book's only pulse of life is in some stirring patches of mountain dialogue" and that "the rest of Christy is a literary poverty pocket of the first magnitude" (1).
Since the novel is based upon the real life accounts of Catherine Marshall's own mother, the heroine of the story, named Christy, is able to come alive with authenticity and a unique personality. Marshall is able to give clear accounts of all the happenings of Christy's students; the book centers around these proud Scotch-Irish mountaineers "and their harsh, lonely lives [with] some nice descriptions of the changing seasons in the mountains" (7). The Christian Century calls this a "highly charming novel...Mrs. Marshall writes with... deep trust in the Lord. The reader will be charmed with these eleven months in the life of Christy" (3). All critics do seem to agree in one respect, however, that the novel Christy is an "affirmation of faith" (4) that leaves its readers feeling inspired and peaceful.
Quoted Review Sources: (1) Barazani, Gail and Mary McLaughlin. Book World, March 31, 1968. (2) The Booklist, February 1, 1968. (3) Book Review Digest 1967. (4) Petersen, Clarence. Book World, October 13, 1968. (5) Publisher's Weekly, August 7, 1967. (6) Silver, Adele. New York Times Book Review, October 22, 1967. (7) Thalman, Elizabeth. Library Journal, October 1, 1967.
Other Reviews: Best Sellers, October 15, 1967. Best Sellers, January 1, 1971. Times Literary Supplement, February 29, 1968. Time, October 13, 1967. Spectator, February 9, 1968. Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 1967.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Catherine Marshall was already a well-known author by the time she published Christy in 1967, however, this marked her first attempt at a novel. The novel gained instant success and spent 10 months on the bestseller's list. Marshall was quoted as saying "that the way America is thinking today is responsible for the book's sale, particularly after the violence in our country" and that "perhaps America has returned to the basic human values so necessary to our survival" (Peterson, 1968). Despite this success and Marshall's own faith in the American public, response from critics did not prove to be overly positive.
One of the main problems critics had with Christy was its "sentimental[ity] and trite[ness]," and the New York Times Book Review even described the novel as a "swampy ground for a plot already over burdened with heavy-handed sincerity" (6). Christy is often compared to Marshall's earlier non-fiction works and "like them, is long on heart, short on art..." (6). A Publisher's Weekly critic thought, however, that these characteristics, combined with the heroine's courage and enthusiasm "should be a big best seller with the ladies who like true-to-life romantic inspirational reading" (5). For readers who look for strong religious overtones, the novel would certainly prove to be a good read.
Critics seem to find fault with the length of the novel. In fact, two different critics thought it necessary to comment on it. However, the Publisher's Weekly critic "found plenty of material for drama [throughout the book], and [discussed how] Mrs. Marshall's story is exciting" (5) and "filled with suspense and excitement" (2). Another critic strongly counteracts this claim further stating that "the book's only pulse of life is in some stirring patches of mountain dialogue" and that "the rest of Christy is a literary poverty pocket of the first magnitude" (1).
Since the novel is based upon the real life accounts of Catherine Marshall's own mother, the heroine of the story, named Christy, is able to come alive with authenticity and a unique personality. Marshall is able to give clear accounts of all the happenings of Christy's students; the book centers around these proud Scotch-Irish mountaineers "and their harsh, lonely lives [with] some nice descriptions of the changing seasons in the mountains" (7). The Christian Century calls this a "highly charming novel...Mrs. Marshall writes with... deep trust in the Lord. The reader will be charmed with these eleven months in the life of Christy" (3). All critics do seem to agree in one respect, however, that the novel Christy is an "affirmation of faith" (4) that leaves its readers feeling inspired and peaceful.
Quoted Review Sources: (1) Barazani, Gail and Mary McLaughlin. Book World, March 31, 1968. (2) The Booklist, February 1, 1968. (3) Book Review Digest 1967. (4) Petersen, Clarence. Book World, October 13, 1968. (5) Publisher's Weekly, August 7, 1967. (6) Silver, Adele. New York Times Book Review, October 22, 1967. (7) Thalman, Elizabeth. Library Journal, October 1, 1967.
Other Reviews: Best Sellers, October 15, 1967. Best Sellers, January 1, 1971. Times Literary Supplement, February 29, 1968. Time, October 13, 1967. Spectator, February 9, 1968. Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 1967.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
The novel Christy, written by Catherine Marshall in 1967, was popular in its day and age because of the inspirational messages that it was filled with, along with the simple fact that the novel was an exciting and fun adventure to read. Readers aspired to share the same positive outlook on life that Christy, the main character showed and found this heroine to be someone one could easily admire; readers also found comfort in the good values that the novel instilled. However, if Christy were to be written in this day and age, it would be safe to say that it would not be nearly as popular or widely accepted. The audience who enjoyed Christy in 1967 is instead reading the works of widely known contemporary romance authors such as Danielle Steel. Believe it or not, Marshall and Steel share as many similarities as they do differences in their novels, all of which help us account for the short lasting popularity of Christy and illustrate the changes that constantly occur to redefine best-selling fiction. Catherine Marshall was known for her many books about the Christian faith which consequently led to her enormous popularity as an inspirational writer. She had been married to the well known Christian minister and author, Peter Marshall, and it was his death that sparked her own writing career. Her first work to be published was an edited collection of Peter's sermons and then two years later she published her first bestseller, a biography of her husband entitled A Man Called Peter: The Story of Peter Marshall. By the time Christy, Marshall's first novel, hit the bestseller's list in 1967 Catherine Marshall was already well respected and had amassed a large following of avid readers (New York Times Book Review, 70). Readers and the public in general viewed Marshall as a strong and intelligent woman; after her husband's unexpected death, Marshall somehow pulled all the pieces in her life together to fulfill her life long dream of writing. Her writing clearly shows the characteristics of strength and fortitude that Marshall herself demonstrated. Marshall was able to write so convincingly and clearly about her faith because her stories were real accounts; as Clarence Seidenspinner of the Chicago Sunday Tribune commented on her writing, "the best stories are those that really happened." In an interview with McCall's Marshall told of her own experience in writing, "literature, if it is accurately to reflect life, must at times reach past the reader's intellect to the emotional level. In order to achieve that, the writer has to feel something as he writes" (McCall's, 45). Her audience was able to recognize this talent that she had of being able to give real, emotional accounts and it was because of this that she enjoyed such success. Critics praised how Marshall was able to leave readers feeling inspired and peaceful, and stated that the novel was a real "affirmation of faith." Even those who did not agree or accept the religious beliefs that Marshall imparted upon her writing were able to recognize her talents as a writer critics alike found Christy to be "a highly charming novel" (Best Sellers, 278). Although Catherine Marshall remained well known for her convincing and inspirational writing ability, the popularity of her novel Christy was short lived. As stated before, readers admired the story for its good values and sought the novel as a means of escape from normal, day to day life. The book was widely read in a small window of time as it only stayed on the bestseller's list for about 10 months (Publisher's Weekly, 49). It was read during carefree and happy times when the baby boomers were still kids and before the public started distrusting the government. People stopped reading Christy in the latter part of 1968 and early on in 1969; right around the time that mass protests opposing the United States' involvement in the Vietnam war were occurring and when Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated. During times like these people didn't want a form of escape, instead they wanted to face the truth and force the government to do the same. Family values were also changing with the times which might have also led to the decreased popularity of Christy. There were recognizable problems in affluent suburbia; divorces, single parent families and teen pregnancies were becoming more pronounced. Famous events such as the Woodstock festival in New York and the United States' Apollo XI mission in which Neil Armstrong walked on the moon all happened in 1969. All of these factors added together took some of the spark out of reading a novel about religion, perfect families and do-gooders and as a result, the novel Christy must have become something of a joke; people stopped relating to the persona of Christy. Times have continued to change significantly since the late 1960's and nowadays it is difficult to find someone who has even heard of the novel Christy. It has become harder still to relate to the story of a young girl who journeys to the Great Smokey Mountains to educate the rugged mountain people. The audience that Catherine Marshall catered to consisted mainly of women, especially housewives and their daughters. This same audience exists today but instead they are reading romance, adventure, and mystery novels by authors such as Danielle Steel, John Grisham, Tom Clancey and Patricia Cornwell. Best-selling fiction during 1967 and 1968 centered around themes not of modern romance novels, legal thrillers, or mystery stories but other genres. For example, in 1967 the top seller was The Arrangement (a story of a Beverly Hills personality), followed by suspense novels such as Topaz, Rosemary's Baby, The Plot, and Gabriel Hounds. Historical novels such as The Confessions of Nat Turner also made the best-selling list of 1967 and 1968 which might have been due to the fact that in 1966 a history genre was prevalent; the top ten non-fiction works outsold the top ten fiction works by as much as two to one (Publisher's Weekly, 49). Whereas works of suspense, history and religion were popular during the late sixties, romances, legal, and crime solving thrillers are prevalent today. Among today's contemporary best-selling authors, the writing style of Danielle Steel sticks out as the most comparable to Catherine Marshall. Danielle Steel's novels, although heralded for being trashy romances, do contain a serious aspect about them which one might term a social purpose. Steel brings up real issues such as single parent families trying hard to raise children while having high powered careers; many people can identify with topics such as this in some way or another. Steel's novels have a much greater degree of applicability nowadays than Catherine Marshall's Christy would. This notable change can be attributed to the changing morals of the American public, increased numbers of women in the work force and the changing definition of the "normal" American family. For these and many other reasons, "Ms. Steel excels at pacing her narrative, which races forward, mirroring the frenetic lives... men and women swept up in bewildering change, seeking solutions to problems never before faced" (Nashville Banner, 67). If anything, Danielle Steel's audience is growing. One of the similarities between Marshall and Steel's novels is the element of escapism. Readers pick up these two authors' books and read them because the stories they find take them away from real life; in this way, both authors become entertainers, and their job involves catering to the public. Even though real issues are brought up and dealt with, the sense of security and hope that results is false because both authors' works are more performances than anything else. Readers expect the novels to end up happily ever after and wish that their own lives could be like the characters they read about. However, there is interchangibility of parts and characters and a certain seemlessness quality about both author's works which makes one define novels such as Marshall's Christy and Steel's Changes as nothing more than entertainment. Readers enjoy this sense of escape that they feel but at the same time it is a false sense of contentment which is more often than not short lived. In order for one of their novels to be used as an escape mechanism, readers must be able to identify with some aspect of the story. Marshall and Steel differ in how they are able to create situations that readers will be able to identify with; readers are able to identify with the adventurous spirit and natural human nature of Christy and with the conflicts that develop within the family in Danielle Steel's Changes. These differences are more than likely a reflection of the times. As times change, readers find different situations to relate to. There are a few fundamental things that don't seem to change between Marshall and Steel's stories, however, such as the inevitable love interest between two main characters. Marshall and Steel both manage to create a sticky love situation that seems impossible to work out in the beginning which somehow ends up working out perfectly in the end. This repeated theme attracts a huge audience; more so in the present day than in 1967 as shown by Steel's immense popularity on the Bestseller's lists. She has published 45 romance novels, all of which have been bestsellers. As a critic stated, "America reads Danielle Steel" (Los Angeles Times, 43). The love interest in Christy is significantly different than one that might appear in the contemporary romance novels of today. For one, it is saturated with religious innuendoes whereas Steel's writing includes contemporary issues such as abortions, pre-marital sex and single parent families. Family values have certainly changed since the sixties as illustrated through the best- selling fiction of the times. The role that religion plays in the novel Christy also says something about its popularity. Reviewers praised this aspect of the book saying that it was a story of "faith beyond measure and courage beyond belief" and that "for readers who look for strong religious overtones, the novel would certainly prove to be a good read" (Publisher's Weekly, 49). Religion was often all there was for the heroine to hold onto and of course her strong faith was responsible for each and every triumph. It was said that through reading Marshall's books, thousands of people were "led to experience God in a new and exciting way." Marshall herself was known to be intensely religious; "known for her intense desire for intimacy with Jesus Christ- whom she loved more than any husband." The inspirational messages of Catherine Marshall united a large following together which greatly increased the popularity of the novel. Just as it is rare to find anyone nowadays who has heard of the novel Christy, it is rare to find bestsellers filled with religious overtones. In this way, Catherine Marshall differs greatly from contemporary best selling authors.
In 1967 readers were able to identify with the aspects of "family, faith and fortitude" found in Catherine Marshall's Christy (Reader's Digest, 20). By the time of Marshall's death in 1983, there were over 4 million copies in print; the story of Christy had proven so popular that Word Publishing decided to launch the Christy Juvenile Fiction Series in 1997, an adaptation of the original novel by C. Archer. This series did not take off, however; by 1997 Marshall's audience had changed significantly. No longer were readers looking for what Christy had to offer, which was basically "The Waltons" except with more religion. Instead, readers are engrossed with Danielle Steel romance novels. The explanation for this turn about comes from the change in the times; as the times change, so does the public's taste in reading material. A best-selling fictitious story rarely maintains its popularity, Christy is just another example of this.
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