This book is the result of an unwavering fascination with the American South. As an outsider, our view and reception has gone through various stages of understanding that have never been complete or totally satisfying. New writers or texts, new readings, revisions and returns to older views reveal more facets of the South in an endless game of mirrors. Some of these facets came together to depict a less familiar face of the South: the plantation fiction. Years of work with students have convinced us that the prevalent opinion about the American South is the presence of race conflicts, the image of the Southern plantation, populated by elegant ladies, courteous gentlemen and contented slaves, coming mainly from the representation of the South in the very popular movie Gone with the Wind. Even specialists in American literature prefer William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers, or other twentieth century Southerners to any of the nineteenth century writers. Sometimes, Kate Chopin may find her way in critical investigations, but the founders of the plantation romance are largely ignored. One of the reasons is considered to be the lack of literary value in comparison to their contemporary Northern counterparts or to the achievements of twentieth century Southern literature.