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Black Oxen



Written when Atherton was 78 years old, this novel's mixture of science and romance was controversial but extremely popular upon publication. It is based on Atherton's personal experience with the Steinbach Treatment, x-rays used to regenerate the female ovaries. Like so many in their search for the Fountain of Youth, she wanted rejuvenation, a fresh energy to begin a new novel.

OONA.Tell them who walk upon the floor of peace,

That I would die and go to her I love,

The years like great black oxen tread the world,

And God the herdsman goads them on behind,

And I am broken by their passing feet.

--from his Notes of the play The Countess Cathleen, W. B. Yeats

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