THE DRAM TREE by Hamilton Cochran


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Another rather lusterless, historical novel attempts to run the Confederate blockade during the Civil War and has its headquarters in Wilmington, North Carolina, a cotton export center. Until its surrender, in 1864, merchant ships were spectacularly successful in slipping through Union Coastal blockades before Fort Fisher, which protected the port, was besieged and fell, Wilmington surrendered, and the critical southern supply line was cut. Across this accurate enough background strides the heroic figure of Captain Jeff Ryall (""tall, dark and handsome... a bold, swashbuckling blockade runner""). He loves aristocratic, heartless Dulcie DuBois, but he is strangely drawn to noble, courageous Tina Tyler (""a strange tenderness he had never experienced with any other woman... The emotion of it shook him a bit and he thought 'I'd better study into this'."") Thanks to his studying, or to the inescapable fact that Dulcie gives not a hominy grit for him, Jeff finds the right answer at last. Still, it doesn't come to much more than predictable, barely passable, period fiction.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1961
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill