WAR IN THE GOLDEN WEATHER by Stephen Longstreet


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This is part of a long novel about colonial life of which two earlier parts, Eagles Where I Walk and A Few Painted Feathers have appeared. The present novel deals with the French and Indian War in the 1750's. Two main characters are Will Cortlandt, a young Dutch painter, and Major George Washington, a young surveyor. For both men fame is the spur. Will, at 28, is a dour widower and peripatetic portrait painter whose great dream is to visit the art galleries of Europe. His spiritual battle cry against despair is, ""Michelangelo and Hogarth!"" Two-fisted George Washington is rendered wonderfully, his dignity wracked by toothache, diarrhea and a misfired love affair. Comically, he rides against the French with a big pillow tied over his saddle. Will Cortlandt's first big romance is like back-country Restoration comedy, with Will taken off to be hung as a horse thief. Washington saves Will by drafting him into service. The two men join General Braddock in his tragic march against Fort Duquesne, which erupts into a realistic battlepiece. After the battle Will sinks into oblivion, while George rises. This is hickory smoked Americana, full of bawdy songs, and almost as high class as Kenneth Roberts...It is the genre which Longstreet handles best and which has received staunch critical approval in the past.

Publisher: Doubleday