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Author John Neal
Author John Neal

Rachel Dyer is a Gothic novel of historical fiction by American writer John Neal (depicted). Published in 1828 in Maine, it is the first bound novel about the Salem witch trials. It garnered little critical notice in its day but influenced works by better-known authors. It is best remembered for "Unpublished Preface", an American literary nationalist essay that precedes the story. Following a darkly poetic narrative, the story centers around historical figure George Burroughs and fictional witch hysteria victim Rachel Dyer. About two-thirds of the story takes place in the courtroom, following the trials of alleged witches. Themes include justice, sexual frustration, mistreatment of American Indians by Puritans, the myth of national American unity in the face of pluralist reality, and republican ideals as an antidote for Old World precedent. The novel experiments with speech patterns, dialogue, and transcriptions of Yankee dialect that Neal hoped would come to characterize American literature. (Full article...)

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Trimeresurus gumprechti

Trimeresurus gumprechti, commonly known as Gumprecht's green pit viper, is a species of venomous pit viper in the family Viperidae. Endemic to Asia, it is found in parts of China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, and is strikingly bright green in color. This female T. gumprechti snake was photographed in Phu Suan Sai National Park in northern Thailand.

Photograph credit: Rushen

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