In Spies for the Blue and Gray Harnett Kane told enough of the Belle Boyd story to fire the imagination with what space...

READ REVIEW

THE SMILING REBEL

In Spies for the Blue and Gray Harnett Kane told enough of the Belle Boyd story to fire the imagination with what space prevented his telling. Margaret Leech's Reveille in Washington touched on the tale- and Sigaud's Belle Boyd, Confederate Spy supplied a rounded and human portrait, sympathetic and warm. Mr. Kane's own list of sources is an impressive one. And yet he has chosen to cast his tale in fictional form, as he has done with other memorable figures of the Civil War period. The result is an only slightly fictionized biography, where -- undoubtedly- imagination has provided the emotional reactions, the family relations, the agonizing weighing of decision, as Belle Boyd of Martinsburg undertook the role that was to make her famous. But the main body of the story stands on its own, as factual recording of successive adventures, contributions made- in the face of obstacles- to the cause of the Confederacy, and recurrent periods of imprisonment. The scene shifts from Washington to Martinsburg to Front Royal and Winchester, to North Carolina, to Boston, to various prisons- and to England. Her romances are probably played up beyond the limitations of the evidence, but the final impression is of an authentic portrait, and a fresh view of one facet of the Civil War. Kane fans will not be disappointed.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 1955

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1955