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A not-so-subtle plea for U.S. support for Cuban independence from Spain, The Free Flag of Cuba vindicates Lopez and his men-who were officially regarded as mercenaries-and declares them to be martyred heroes. Holcombe's tale clearly reflects the values southern aristocratic women expected in men, even if preserving those values meant death and defeat-a harbinger of why women like Lucy so ardently supported the Confederacy.
With an illuminating introduction detailing the life of Lucy Petway Holcombe Pickens and the historical context of her novel, this new edition of The Free Flag of Cuba is a welcome glimpse into the mind and value system of the southern belle who would become a southern icon.
Professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Orville Vernon Burton is the author or editor of seven books. Georganne B. Burton is an independent scholar, writer, and community service activist.