Originally published in 1940, this is Willa Cather's last novel, a stirring and beautifully executed description of a society and conditions that have vanished forever, and a retrospective portrait of the Old South, with its stain of slavery. By 1856, Sapphira Colbert is one of few Virginians who owns slaves, a policy her husband Henry finds increasingly difficult to countenance. Sapphira presides over her Black Creek Valley property with disciplined resolution and the help of her black maid, Nancy. Henry runs the Mill and sleep there too, their marriage a formality. Sapphira's life is an arid one and, confined to a wheelchair, she has amble opportunity for speculation. When she hears a conversation linking her husbands name to that of Nancy, that speculation festers and the horrific potential of Sapphira's power is unleashed ...