ALEXANDRIANA: The Revolution in the South by Le Gette Blythe

ALEXANDRIANA: The Revolution in the South

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A misleading title and sub-title, a price that would lead one to expect non-fiction -- but, all in all, a very good historical novel, which deserves attention. Alexandriana places the locale -- an estate and section in North Carolina, prior to the American Revolution. The years compassed in the story are 1768-1781, and the book comes closer to the quality and tempo of Drums by James Boyd than any other novel I can recall. What Boyd does for Tidewater, Virginia and that region contiguous to it, before and during the early years of the Revolution, Blythe does for North Carolina. He reveals the conditions there that made it ripe for revolt, even to staging a private revolt of their own against Governor Tryon five years before Concord. And with King's Mountain a turning point in the Revolution's progress, North Carolina rounds out a dramatic and significant contribution. Famous -- and infamous -- characters play their part, but the story is largely that of a youth, bond servant at the start, Captain at the close -- David Barksdale, of his place in the plantation family life with the Alexanders, of the community and the people who composed it, of his youthful infatuation for one girl and his growing love for another. Washington and Valley Forge -- Bloody Tarleton and his vicious characters come into the story. The book emerges as a vigorous picture of a lusty people -- hard drinkers, hard fighters and hard lovers. An exceptionally fine pice of book making.

Publisher: Stackpole