Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 109

An unlikely pairing
If Fox's life reads like its own rags-to-riches
novel, then the most titillating chapter
surrounds his improbable, late-in-life

marriage to opera star Fritzi Scheff, a native of Vienna who had been the talk of
New York following her 1901 stage debut.
Fox and Scheff married in December
1908-when he was just shy of 46 and
she was 29-mere months after her divorce from her first husband, Baron Fritz
von Bardeleben, was finalized. The union
brought an unexpected cadre of sophistication to Big Stone Gap whenever the
couple visited. In a public address in
1957, Fox's brother-in-law William Cabell Moore recalled Scheff's first visit to
Virginia to meet the family, in which she
brought with her "her companion, her
personal maid, eight trunks, and a number of bags, including one important bag
or case in which she carried many beautiful jewels."
Best known for her roles as Fifi in "Mlle.
Modiste" (1905-1908) and as the title role
in "The Prima Donna" (1908), Scheff was,
by most accounts, a prima donna in real
life as well. A favorite singer of composer
Victor Herbert, her performance of his
song "Kiss Me Again" became iconic-so
much so that she appeared on Ed Sullivan's "Talk of the Town" to sing it again

She was
legendary
both for her
beautiful voice
as well as her
antics on and
off the stage.

COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS RESEARCH CENTER

books were riveting. Struck by the talent
he saw in Fox's prose, future president
Theodore Roosevelt wrote to him on June
4, 1894, as "a fellow Harvard man" wishing to "congratulate [him] most heartily
on the way [his] novel is opening." (From
the date, it's likely Roosevelt is referring
to Fox's novella "A Cumberland Vendetta," published serially in Century in summer 1894.) In the typewritten but handsigned missive, held at the University of
Kentucky-the first of dozens of letters
offering a glimpse into the pair's enduring friendship, which culminated in frequent invitations from Roosevelt to dine
together, including at the White House-
Roosevelt wrote that he felt Fox was on a
path to create a "lasting and real addition
to American literature."
Through the success of his serialized
stories, "the name of John Fox, Jr." had
become, according to the Nov. 9, 1901
edition of The New York Times, "inseparably connected with the world's knowledge of the Southern mountaineer-with
his primitive ways, his moonshining, his
open-handed hospitality, and his feuds."
But it was the breakout success of Fox's
1903 novel "The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come," a coming-of-age tale set in
Civil War-era Kentucky, which took his
life on a new economic and social trajectory. The book had something for everyone-war, romance, drama-and it
seemed there was no one in America at
the time who hadn't fallen under its spell.
In correspondence dated Sept. 8, 1904,
preserved in the Fox family holdings at
the University of Kentucky, a 17-year-old
reader named Kent Brooklyn Stiles wrote
to Fox to admit that he'd been initially
reluctant to read the novel, fearing it was
a "goody goody book." He finally acquiesced and was riveted. It was the "best
book I ever read," he attested. And, to
drive home the point further, he added
this postscript: "'The Little Shepherd of
Kingdom Come' makes me wish I had
been born in Kentucky instead of New
Hampshire. I'll always have a longing for
the Bluegrass State now."

John Fox Jr. was a gifted musician and performer, appearing in many theater productions during
his time at Harvard.

JULY/AUGUST 2018

109



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 73
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 75
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 76
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 77
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 78
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 79
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 80
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 81
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 82
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 83
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 84
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 85
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 86
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 87
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 88
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 89
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 90
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 91
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 92
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 93
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 94
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 95
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 96
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 97
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 98
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 99
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 100
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 101
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 102
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 103
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 104
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 105
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 106
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 107
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 108
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 109
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 110
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 111
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 112
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 113
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 114
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 115
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 116
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 117
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 118
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 119
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 120
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 121
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 122
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 123
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 124
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 125
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 126
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 127
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 128
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 129
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 130
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20170102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20130910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20130708
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com