Bracket this for handling, type of biographical novel, scope, with books by Irving Stone, by Harnett Kane -- rather than the...

READ REVIEW

BELOVED

Bracket this for handling, type of biographical novel, scope, with books by Irving Stone, by Harnett Kane -- rather than the somewhat less fictional approach of Catherine Drinker Bowen. But there's your market for this soundly researched story of Judah Benjamin, one of the world's great lawyers, and assuredly the most important figure in the political history of the Confederacy. Benjamin was born in St. Thomas (this later proved important in his acceptance as British and his admission to the bar in London); he spent most of his childhood in Charleston, South Carolina- and from there matriculated at 14 at Yale, from which he was dropped because of a deliberately planted charge against him; he went to New Orleans, and through incredible concentration, became a lawyer and rapidly rose to universal recognition and acceptance, despite the fact that he was a Jew. His marriage to a Louisiana Creole was a strange one- but was perhaps the dominant personal note in his life. Natalie Benjamin loved him to his death -- devotedly- but she was, in modern terms, a nymphomaniac, and paid him off for his devotion to his career by taking a succession of men, and ultimately by moving to Paris, where she and their daughter lived for forty years of the ""marriage"". But Benjamin never swerved in his whole-hearted, often compassionate and always understanding, worship of Natalie. With the secession of Louisiana, Benjamin resigned from the Senate and was appointed to Davis' Cabinet, where he served in various roles throughout the war. Mrs. Delmar's handling of this phase of Benjamin's life deserves particular commendation. For the first time- in this reader's experience- Benjamin emerges as a man who has taken the buffets of abuse despite the fact that the disasters for which he was blamed belong firmly on the doorstep of President Davis. Benjamin grows in stature, in warmth of his human relations, in breadth of vision, in generosity. An absorbing story.

Pub Date: March 22, 1956

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1956