By Terryl L. Givens
Released in 1997, Terryl Givens's The Viper at the Hearth was once commonly praised as a landmark work--indeed, The Wall road Journal hailed it as "one of the 5 most sensible books on Mormonism." Now, within the wake of a tidal wave of Mormon-inspired creative, literary, and political activity--ranging from the Broadway hit The e-book of Mormon, to the HBO sequence Big Love, to the political crusade of Mitt Romney--Givens provides an up to date variation that addresses the continued presence and reception of the Mormon photograph in modern tradition.
The Viper at the Hearth confirmed how 19th- and twentieth-century American writers usually solid the Mormon as a inventory villain in such fictional genres as mysteries, westerns, and well known romances. If at the present time a few authors like Tom Clancy use "Mormon" as shorthand for "clean minimize and patriotic," prior writers extra frequently depicted the Mormons as a violent and perverse people--the "viper at the hearth"--who sought to violate the household sphere of the mainstream. Givens is the 1st to bare how well known fiction built a picture of the Mormon as a spiritual and social different. The checklist of authors contains either American and English writers, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes secret to Zane Grey's Riders of the pink Sage, from Robert Louis Stevenson's The Dynamiter to Jack London's Star Rover.
For this variation, Givens has accelerated the ultimate bankruptcy, laying off extra mild at the Mormon presence in modern American tradition, with insightful discussions of subject matters starting from the musical, The e-book of Mormon, to the political campaigns of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman.