A Swallow Press Book
By Frank Waters
“If there does exist for each of us a psychological archetype, or a Guru, manifested as a physical mountain, Pikes Peak is mine.”
The Wild Earth’s Nobility is the first of Frank Waters’s semiautobiographical novels in the Pikes Peak saga. Here, in a frontier town in the shadow of the commanding mountain, the Rogier family settles near an age-old route of migrating Native Americans. In an era of prospecting, silver strikes, and frenzied mining, Joseph Rogier becomes a successful building contractor, rears a large family, and is gradually overwhelmed by the power of the great peak.
In Waters’s visionary prose, the story becomes a mythic journey to reconcile instinct and reason, consciousness and intuition, and the powerful emotions of a family struggling with its own dreams and human limitations.
Frank Waters (1902-1995), one of the finest chroniclers of the American Southwest, wrote twenty-eight works of fiction and nonfiction. Of Pike’s Peak (1971), the Chicago Daily News wrote, “It is a product of maturity, written with a sustained strength and beauty of style rarely found in fiction today.”
Pike’s Peak is composed of three condensed novels: The Wild Earth’s Nobility, Below Grass Roots, and The Dust within the Rock.
Frank Waters (1902–1995), one of the finest chroniclers of the American Southwest, wrote twenty-eight works of fiction and nonfiction. More info →
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At 14,110 feet, the weather station atop Pikes Peak, Colorado, was the highest in the world in 1873. Young men trained by the Signal Corps took turns living year-round on the isolated mountain, where they endured loneliness, primitive living conditions, lack of financial support and appreciation, and deteriorating health. Most did so with dedication and good humor.
Based on one of the most significant periods in Frank Waters’s own life, Pike’s Peak is perhaps the most complete expression of all the archetypal themes he explored in both fiction and nonfiction.In The Dust within the Rock, the third book in the Pike’s Peak saga, an aging Joseph Rogier clings to his vision of finding gold in the great mountain and his grandson Marsh comes of age in the Rogier household.
In Below Grass Roots, the second book in Frank Waters’s Pikes Peak saga, turn-of-the-century Colorado Springs is prospering with the mining boom and a growing tourist industry. Patriarch Joseph Rogier becomes ever more obsessed with the treasures of the towering mountain and tries to enlist his son-in-law Jonathan Cable in his mining schemes. Cable instead leaves for Navajo country with his young son.