Willa Cather's first published novel, set in Boston, London, and Paris, is the story of a man unable to resolve the contradictions in his own nature. The central figures are Bartley Alexander, a world-famous engineer; his wife; Winifred, a Boston society matron; and his former love, Hilda Burgoyne, a London actress. Long considered an uncharacteristic production, in the light of recent scholarship Alexander's Bridge is seen to be closely linked to the body of Cather's work, thematically as well as in its use of myth and symbol. Bernice Slote's introduction considers the circumstances of its composition and its relationship to the later novels, particularly One of Ours, The Professor's House, and Lucy Gayheart. The text has been entirely reset from the first (1912) edition.
Bernice Slote, a distinguished Cather scholar, was a professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her publications included editions of April Twilights (1903); Poems of Willa Cather (1962, 1968); The Kingdom of Art: Willa Cather's First Principles and Critical Statements, 1893-1896 (1967); and Uncle Valentine and Other Stories: Willa Cather's Uncollected Short Fiction (1973, 1986), all published by the UNP.