Lydia Bailey (International Collectors Library)

By: Roberts, Kenneth Lewis

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Original publisher's slip laid in. Minimal wear to corners. 1947 Hard Cover. 488 pp. 8vo. William Morris replica binding - navy blue boards, gilt titles & decorations, purple ribbon marker bound in. Maps on endpapers. History, romance, and adventure are again skillfully blended by Kenneth Roberts, America's greatest historical novelist. It is 1800, and the ideals and promises of the newborn United States are being tested in actual practice. In Boston, the Federalists are jailing those who speak out against them. In the West Indies, French privateers are avenging a broken treaty by capturing American merchant vessels which French courts are condemning and allowing to be sold. In France, Bonaparte is planning the reconquest of Haiti as the base for an attack on continental America. In the Mediterranean, the Barbary States, Tripoli in particular, are blackmailing the United States and seizing American ships. These are 'the heroic years' when Albion Hamlin comes from Maine to Boston to defend a client who has run afoul of the notorious Alien and Sedition Acts. Before he knows quite what has happened to him Albion has lost a case, delivered a ringing oration on liberty in the teeth of illiberal Justice Chase of the Supreme Court, and been jailed for his pains. And he has fallen in love -- with the Gilbert Stuart portrait of his client's lovely niece, Lydia Bailey, reported dead of yellow fever in Haiti. Albion's escape from prison with the help of old Samuel Adams is but the beginning of the adventures which carry him to Haiti in search of Lydia, and to France and Tripoli, where, with Lydia, he participates in events which, though both shameful and triumphant, taught the world that the United States was a world power at last. In Lydia Bailey, as in all his novels, Kenneth Roberts' vigorous, intimate style gives the reader the sense of sharing the lives of his characters and of actually living in their own time. With Albion and Lydia he brings you face to face with handsome Tobias Lear, a political misfit so egregious as to be a national disgrace, and the amazing General Eaton, one of our neglected heroes. You discover why Toussaint L'Ouverture was one of the greatest Negroes who ever lived, and you march with the mostrous Dessalines, Toussaint's general, whose cruelties were equalled only by his genius. One of your companions will be great-hearted, resourceful King Dick (who appeared briefly in The Lively Lady), black magician, gunner, cavalry leader, and strategist; another will be the protean Eugene Leitensdorfer, General Eaton's adjutant, who spoke several languages, had been a dervish, Marabout, monk, actor, doctor, restaurateur, prince, and soldier, and knew what to do at any given moment. Lydia Bailey herself emerges as Kenneth Roberts' most superb woman character. Her romance with Albion is the threat which ties together this magnificent historical novel woven by an author who has never failed to present American history more daringly, accurately, unconventionally than any other writer. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kenneth Lewis Roberts (December 8, 1885 - July 21, 1957) was an American author of historical novels. After serving as an Army lieutenant during the American Siberian campaign in the Russian Civil War in 1919, Roberts worked first as a journalist, and then as a popular novelist. Born in Kennebunk, Maine, Roberts specialized in Regionalist historical fiction. He often wrote about his native state and its terrain, also depicting other upper New England states and scenes. For example, Langdon Towne, the chief character of Roberts's Northwest Passage, is depicted as being from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. At a key point in the novel, Towne and his companions, fighting for their lives, trudge through what is now the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont. Key novels of Roberts's work include: * Northwest Passage - French and Indian War * Arundel * The Lively Lady * Rabble in Arms - American Revolution; sequel to Arundel * Captain Caution * Oliver Wiswell - American Revolution from the loyalist perspective * Boon Island * Lydia Bailey Roberts described his life in detail in his autobiography, I Wanted to Write. In 1957 he received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his historical novels which have long contributed to the creation of greater interest in our early American history. Roberts graduated from Cornell University in 1908, where he wrote the lyrics for two Cornell fight songs. He was also a member of the Quill and Dagger society.