Willa Cather's 1935 novel drew on her lifelong interest in music, which plays a transformative role in the lives of her characters. Cather's last novel set in the Great Plains tells the story of young Lucy Gayheart, who escapes life in small-town Haverford, Nebraska, in 1902 to pursue a career in music. In Chicago she falls in love with an older singer, Clement Sebastian, who finds renewed inspiration in her. However, tragic chance destroys their ensuing love affair. The novel has evoked divergent responses among critics and readers ever since its publication. This Willa Cather Scholarly Edition includes a historical essay providing fresh insight into the novel, the role of music, and Cather's writing process. It also features photographs, maps, and explanatory notes with a full range of biographical, historical, and cultural information. The textual editing of the novel, approved by the Committee on Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association, draws on corrected typescripts and proofs and presents a clean, authoritative text of the first edition.