Saturday, February 3, 2007

Fiction Set in Virginia

I love to read, and I particularly enjoy reading books that give a sense of place, a feel for the location in which the action is set. To that end I have been searching for books set in Virginia, Fredericksburg in particular. Gods and Generals comes to mind. Much of the plot concerns the Battle of Fredericksburg which took place in December 1862, with a focus on Stonewall Jackson, one of Virginia's beloved (still) Civil War generals.

Three other Virginia authors I have been reading of late are Thomas Nelson Page, Ellen Glasgow, and Constance Cary Harrison. I'm about to finish Page's Gordon Keith, with which I have been disappointed. The beginning is set in Virginia in the early days of reconstruction, giving a sense of the hard economic times and resentment felt towards the Yankees. The action then moves to New York City where Virginian Gordon Keith in the end triumphs in business while two Yankee acquaintances fail.

I have read Constance Cary Harrison's A Virginia Girl in the First Year of the War and found it fascinating. This is a non-fiction work. In 1867 Constance Cary married Burton Harrison, who had been Jefferson Davis's secretary during the days of the Confederacy.

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