“Death Comes for the Archbishop” is the critically acclaimed novel of the settlement of the American Southwest by celebrated author Willa Cather. First published in 1927, it is widely regarded as one of the best American books of the 20th century and masterfully captures this pivotal time of America’s westward expansion. The story is based on the real-life struggles of Catholic clergy members as they attempt to establish a regular diocese in the lawless and vast New Mexico Territory in the late 19th century. Cather’s main characters, the French Bishop Jean Marie Latour and American vicar Joseph Vaillant, are based upon the real-life Jean-Baptiste Lamy and Joseph Projectus Machebeuf. The fictional pair encounters many of the same dangers and obstacles as their rel-life counterparts as they bring the Roman Catholic Church and its politics to the native people of the desert of the Southwest. While many of the clergy members are good and honorable people dedicated to spreading the Word of God, others are greedy and corrupt, making Latour and Vaillant’s work all the more difficult. Beautifully written with complex characters struggling to conquer a stunning and brutal land, “Death Comes for the Archbishop” is one of Cather’s most accomplished and thoughtful works. This edition includes a biographical afterword.