A Girl of the Limberlost, a novel written by American writer and naturalist Gene Stratton-Porter, was first published in August 1909. The story takes place in Indiana, in and around the Limberlost Swamp, during the early 20th century.
The novel’s heroine, Elnora Comstock, is a poor girl who lives with her widowed mother Katharine Comstock on the edge of the Limberlost Swamp. At the beginning of the novel, Elnora is just beginning high school, where her unfashionable dress adds to her difficulty blending in with the other students. Lack of money for tuition and books nearly derails her continued enrollment. These difficulties are resolved through the kindness of her neighbours Wesley and Margaret Sinton, and by her enterprising scheme to gather and sell artifacts and moths from the Limberlost Swamp.
Elnora faces cold neglect by her mother, a woman ruined by the death of her husband in the swamp. Katharine implicates Elnora in his death, as her husband died in the swamp while she gave birth to their daughter. Eventually Elnora wins her mother's love, but new problems arise with the arrival of the young man Phillip Ammon. He has been sent to Onabasha to recuperate from an illness. He stays with Elnora and her mother for a summer and helps Elnora gather moths. The two gradually fall in love; however, he is already engaged to another young woman, Edith Carr. A year later, he finally breaks his engagement to the other woman. After more tribulations, he and Elnora are wed. Katharine reconciles with Elnora after learning that her husband had been unfaithful to her.