The True and Authentic History of Jenny Dorset

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Narrated by a sharp-eyed but genial family servant named Henry Hawthorne, the novel vividly brings to life its beautiful heroine, whose headstrong and wayward childhood foreshadows the fierce freedom fighter she will become as the Revolutionary War approaches Charleston. The lives of Jenny and her family are intertwined with those of the Smythes, owners of the adjoining plantation, and the dizzying, often hilarious feud between Jenny's father and Mr. Smythe forms the backdrop against which Jenny's story unfolds. ...
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first Good [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ] [ Edition: first ] Publisher: Longstreet Pr Pub Date: 4/1/1997 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 494.

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1997 Hard cover Very good in good dust jacket. jacket worn at corners, edges and spine, some abrasions on cover; copy has some light wear at spine, smudged page blocks; text and ... binding fine Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 494 p. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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1997 Hardcover Good in good dust jacket. Ex-library. Books rated "Good" may have some notes, underlining, or highlighting. These books also may contain the previous owner's ... name, stamp, sticker, or gift inscription, or may be library discards. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Narrated by a sharp-eyed but genial family servant named Henry Hawthorne, the novel vividly brings to life its beautiful heroine, whose headstrong and wayward childhood foreshadows the fierce freedom fighter she will become as the Revolutionary War approaches Charleston. The lives of Jenny and her family are intertwined with those of the Smythes, owners of the adjoining plantation, and the dizzying, often hilarious feud between Jenny's father and Mr. Smythe forms the backdrop against which Jenny's story unfolds. Scrupulously researched, Jenny Dorset recreates 18th-century Charleston like no story ever has - from its heyday in the 1760s as an energetic, boisterous seaport until 1782 when it gained its independence from British occupation. The city's teeming life - on the streets, by the docks, in the taverns - adds a rich texture to the fabric of the novel.

Woven into the tapestry of 18th-century Charleston, this comic epic traces the rise of two low-country plantation families and propels readers on a merry adventure. Jenny Dorset is a big, sprawling story set in a time and place where high adventure was afoot, depicting Charleston from its heyday in the 1760s as an energetic seaport until 1782, when it gained its independence from Britain. 512 pp. Regional author tour. $30,000 budget. 25,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Williams's seven previous novels (All the Western Stars; Blue Crystal, etc.) run such a varietal gamut that his foray into 18th-century literature with this brassy parody of Fielding's classic Tom Jones should be no surprise. Though flagrantly overwritten by contemporary standards, this raucous burlesque is great fun. Unabashedly modeled after Fielding's masterpiece (including the lengthy, descriptive chapter headings), this chronicle concerns the antic life of Jenny, willful daughter of Adam Dorset, a wealthy, ineptly foppish, Charleston, S.C., planter. Henry Hawthorne, a beloved, quiet-spoken (but dry-witted) manservant in the Dorset household, is the narrator. Born during the troublesome skirmishes between the French and Indians and coming to the flower of her womanhood during the British occupation of Charleston (1780-1782), sensual, hedonistic Jenny is undaunted by man or beast. Central to the narrative is Jenny's hard-drinking, wenching father's petty rivalries with Charles Smythe, his snobby (however self-made) Virginia-born neighbor. Capturing a vivid image of the bustling, historic seaport before and during the British occupation, this sweeping saga weaves a tapestry of the Colonial South. It's graced with bawdy hilarity and its characters' frequent contretemps. The antithesis of the postmodern novel, the old-fashioned narrative packs plenty of adventure and romance in its sprawling pages.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Williams's seven previous novels (All the Western Stars; Blue Crystal, etc.) run such a varietal gamut that his foray into 18th-century literature with this brassy parody of Fielding's classic Tom Jones should be no surprise. Though flagrantly overwritten by contemporary standards, this raucous burlesque is great fun. Unabashedly modeled after Fielding's masterpiece (including the lengthy, descriptive chapter headings), this chronicle concerns the antic life of Jenny, willful daughter of Adam Dorset, a wealthy, ineptly foppish, Charleston, S.C., planter. Henry Hawthorne, a beloved, quiet-spoken (but dry-witted) manservant in the Dorset household, is the narrator. Born during the troublesome skirmishes between the French and Indians and coming to the flower of her womanhood during the British occupation of Charleston (1780-1782), sensual, hedonistic Jenny is undaunted by man or beast. Central to the narrative is Jenny's hard-drinking, wenching father's petty rivalries with Charles Smythe, his snobby (however self-made) Virginia-born neighbor. Capturing a vivid image of the bustling, historic seaport before and during the British occupation, this sweeping saga weaves a tapestry of the Colonial South. It's graced with bawdy hilarity and its characters' frequent contretemps. The antithesis of the postmodern novel, the old-fashioned narrative packs plenty of adventure and romance in its sprawling pages. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563523656
  • Publisher: Longstreet Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/15/1997
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.51 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.50 (d)

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