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The Salamander
Temptation, Destiny and the Spiritual History of America

The Salamander is a rather mysterious, out-of-print, nineteenth-century novel written by the pseudonymous author, Ernest Helfenstein, who in reality was Elizabeth Oakes Smith, a well-known author of the time. A colleague of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Smith edited the journal with which Emerson was associated.

The novel, loosely related to the High Tor legend that originated in the lower Hudson Valley of the United States, deals with the broadest possible themes: humankind's evolution, the Fall of men and angels, and redemption.

Historical Notes on Elizabeth Oakes Smith, by Mado Spiegler (coming soon).

The Salamander, a novel by Elizabeth Oakes Smith (pdf format, 227 KB) --->

Commentary by Vladislav Rozentuller on The Salamander --->

High Tor legends --->