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Lewis Ginter: Richmond's Gilded Age Icon

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

    Through Richmond Eyes

    When asked about a play he'd seen, Abraham Lincoln said, "For people who like that sort of thing, that's the sort of thing they like." For those of us who like local history, this is the sort of thing we like. Brian Burns says he wants the book to "see Lewis Ginter's life through his own 19th century eyes." Here he sees Richmond's history through Richmond eyes.

    This book describes Ginter's life from the time he arrived in Richmond in 1842 to his death in 1897, saying little about events that happened outside the greater Richmond area. Richmonders will enjoy the cast of local luminaries for whom Richmond streets, buildings and parks are named, Lewis Ginter first among them. It is a tradition of local history to extol the virtues of the local hero. This book keeps up that tradition, showing us a Lewis Ginter whose every action and motivation are benevolent and aimed at improving the city of Richmond. Heroes usually have divine inspiration. In this book, the spirit of Thomas Jefferson hovers closely around Ginter, ready with an inspirational quote whenever needed.

    Lewis Ginter's relationship with his protege, John Pope, is described in all its emotional depth; but the widespread belief that Pope and Ginter were gay lovers is not directly addressed. Readers are left to answer for themselves the real nature of Ginter's friendship with Pope.

    Altogether, this book is a monument to Lewis Ginter, John Pope, and their circle of colleagues and friends who in the 19th century determined the outlines of today's Richmond.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

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