THE KING'S ORCHARD by Agnes Sligh Turnbull


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James O'Hara was one of Pittsburgh's early moguls and a fitting subject for fictional romance. Not only does his story span Pittsburgh's most thrilling period istory -- the days of Fort Pitt, the raw beginnings of settlement, the Indian threat, the American War of Independence, the sweeping tide of war against the Indian tribes, the Whiskey Rebellion- but it includes the beginnings of the industries that have made Pittsburgh what it is, in the use of natural resources, the rivers, coal, and the indomitable spirit of the people. All this is here, as O'Hara, Irish born, lured by the promise of the wilderness and a driving urge for power and success, puts everything into making Pittsburgh what he envisions at the unauspicious start. Of such men is our industrial strength comprised. His personal story, too, commends itself to the novelist, the romanticist, for he fell in love at first sight with a young girl- unready for romance, gently reared, not, it would seem, of the stuff of pioneers. And eventually he won her- and her lasting love throughout the exigencies of a life that held peril, separation and hardship. All this, and more, is in this, Mrs. Turnbull's most ambitious book. But it suffers, is only too often true, from the burden of fact which frequently smothers the ace of story, and makes stilted and unreal the efforts to escape into natural dialogue and narrative. However, a little known slice of America in the making is here, well enough handled to be worth reading.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin