DRUMS OF DESTINY by Peter Bourne
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Lydia Bailey introduced the gruelling early struggles of Haiti to become an independent state to many readers who by-passed Vandercock's Black Majesty. Now comes another novel of the whole period, from the earliest grumblings of voiced unrest, to the tragic death of Henry Christophe in the lonely grandeur of his impregnable fortress, a monument to a dream he thought destroyed. The central character is a Scot- Duncan Stewart, who- on the verge of receiving his license as a surgeon and physician- is forced to flee England, and hide out in the remote French island of Saint Domingue (as it was then called). There- almost penniless- he ostracizes himself from the whites and their evil, cruel, rapacious, licentious society- and throws in his lot with the blacks, among whom he can practice his beloved profession, and exist on the material evidence of his people's gratitude. And so it happens, when the stirrings become revolution- civil war- ""Ti Rouge"" is in the center of things- striving, often in vain, to save some measure of the hate and revenge, treating the wounded regardless of color, upholding the ideals towards which two at least of the leaders strove,- Toussaint and Henry Christophe. It is an absorbing story, with underplay of Duncan's search for a woman who can make him forget his Margaret, but with the emphasis of interest and action in the building up to a peak of violence of the revolution unique in human history. There's brutality here- and sex violence- but the pace and vigor of the writing carries the reader along through a story of social upheaval.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1947
Publisher: Putnam