Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty

Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty❴Reading❵ ➾ Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty Author John William De Forest – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk More panoramic in scope and realistic in its details than Crane's  Red Badge of Courage this is one of the first and best novels ever written about the American Civil War Drawing on his own combat ex More panoramic Conversion from MOBI ó in scope and realistic in its details than Crane's  Red Badge of Courage this is one of the first and best novels ever written about the American Civil War Miss Ravenel's Epub / Drawing on his own combat experience with the Union forces John W De Forest crafted a war novel like nothing before it in the annals of American literature His first hand knowledge Ravenel's Conversion from Kindle Ø of the wilderness of death made its way on to the pages of his riveting novel with devastating effect Whether depicting the tedium before combat the unspoken horror of battle or the Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Epub / grisly butchery of the field hospital De Forest broke new ground anticipating the realistic war writings of Ernest Hemingway Norman Mailer and Tim O'Brien A commercial failure in its own day De Forest's story was praised by Henry James and William Dean Howells who comparing it favorably to  War and Peace acclaimed the book one of the best American novels ever writtenFor than seventy years Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English speaking world With than titles Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors as well as up to date translations by award winning translators. A wonderful 19th century lost classic that nobody has ever heard of I re read the book last week over 40 after I read it the first time and it just blew me away More than the first time I have the 1955 edition with an introduction by the editor Gordon S Haight Haight places DeForest above Stephen Crane as a realistic writer at least as far as war are concerned and I think he's right Although I love Crane's other work I find Red Badge of Courage unreadable and I've tried in 3 times Maybe because DeForest actually fought in the war and Crane could only imagine it and tended to be a bit to metaphoric about the whole thingMiss Rafvenel however is sublime and the battle scenes underplayed in their realism Normally I sort of skim battles but not this time Reading Miss RRavenel in some ways is like viewing a collection of Mathew Brady photographs DeForest is a superb writer with a great eye for detail and history and manners He as least in Miss Ravenel is Crane James Austin rolled in to one Surely Margaret Mitchell was familiar with the book Miss Sca4rlet Miss Mellie Rhett and Ashley are but pale reflections of Col Carter Cap Colburne who really is not Ashley Lille and Mrs Larue If I were in an English Department I'd be working on resurrecting hDeForest as a great American writer Dr Ravenel a southerner himself gets a bit tiresome in his constant denunciation of all things Southern and Lillie iswell sometimes silly not a great strong heroine though she certainly has her strengths I found her continual need to adore someone a huge defect even for the mid 19th century Ah but Col Carter Carnal flawed but honorable Mrs Larue is similar I guess I differ from DeForest in this regard Carter and Larue alone are imo two of the most memorable characers in American fiction Colburne who starts out rather prissy stands the test of the war and I think by the end is much closer to Carter in his though he maintains his goodness All in all DeForest is play8ing out a double virgin whore paradigm The novel is uite cinegraphic I'd love to see it on Masterpiece Theater since the Brits are the only ones who can translate it right Does this novel depict the Civil War realistically? Yes Is Lillie Ravenel the strong heroine described by the GoodReads description? No She comes off as a bit silly actually Miss Ravenel's Conversion is less about Miss Ravenel's conversion and about life during the Civil War wait I'm in the SouthWar of Northern Aggression and domestic affairs at the time The first half of the book was rather boring being mostly about Lillie's friendship with two military men the drinking philandering Carter and the gentle lawyer Colborne and how she eventually decides which of the two she'll marry It sounds kind of Jane Austen esue but De Forest fails to make it very interesting The second half of the novel picks up some however with descriptions of battles and military life Lillie's father's plantation experiment with free black labor and Carter's eventual dissolution into political corruption and adultery While De Forest's characterizations of women and Southerners seemed rather degrading he doesn't glorify the Union either again there's Carter's corruption along with some comical bits about drunk andor cowardly commanders After all the novel is considered a work of realist literatureReview originally posted on my blog I encountered this book while doing research on a project and thought it would interesting to read this kind of conversion narrative a woman from the south who goes north for a time in the era of the civil war and who finds a northern man who eventually converts her to the cause of the Union This was the description of the book and what led me to it was my curiosity as to how the author would manage the conversion My hopes were not great but were dashed nevertheless When the young woman Lillie Ravenel meets and marries her union officer it is simply the marriage that brings about the change in her beliefs She returns to New Orleans only to find herself shunned by her old circle of friends for having too many associations with the enemy It is not her convictions which change but rather her alliances The fact of slavery is not really part of the picture It is rather a variation on the who will she marry theme Even the villainess is lackluster The two suitors for her hand a colonel and a captain participate in the better parts of the book which are the battle scenes but action writing no matter how fine is lost in a novel at least for me But the most disappointing aspect is that a writer would see a woman's life as being so thoroughly shaped by her husband would see that and make nothing of it I mean It was an interesting moment of research that is indicative of how white Americans outside the south saw the Civil War in the years that followed its end This 1867 novel has a lot to recommend it but one major flaw which prevents any recommendation from being unualified Lillie Ravenel is a teenage girl from Louisiana brought to the north by her loyalist father at the outbreak of the American Civil War The author does not claim her to be “a first class beauty” but nevertheless she seems an object of attraction to almost every man who encounters her Whatever charm she might posses does not communicate itself to the reader; Miss Ravenel comes across as an insipid unimaginative and not particularly bright young lady She slows the narrative to a slog whenever she takes center stage and unfortunately that occurs uite freuentlyMiss Ravenel has two contrasting suitors Captain Edward Colburne is a virtuous New Englander whose bland goodness makes him seem a perfect match for the uninspiring Miss Ravenel He is saved from being a similar drag on the narrative by occasionally being the source of interesting observations and especially because it is through his eyes that the reader experiences life in the Federal army the main reason for any modern reader to pick up this novel Her second suitor adds a considerable amount of spice to the narrative Colonel John Carter is a native Virginian but loyal to the Union; he is made interesting by having a generous share of personal vices foremost a tendency to overindulge in drink but also an inclination toward gambling and venery For all his faults he is a man of honor at least among his fellow males and an admirable military officerThe main story of the young girl and her suitors is almost overshadowed by a secondary character Mrs Larue Miss Ravenel’s thirty something widowed aunt If Lillie Ravenel’s charms remain hidden to the reader those of Madame Larue almost reach off the page and to touch him Mrs Larue has mastered all the arts of fascinating men and her need to seduce just about every male she encounters seems as instinctual and unrelenting as a cat’s need to chase miceThe prime attraction of this novel for modern readers as well as many of Forest’s contemporaries are the scenes of combat which De Forest has rendered with a level of graphic detail unusual in fiction at the time he was writing These scenes don’t occur until about halfway through the novel but the patient reader is well rewarded with some of the most gripping descriptions of battle in literature De Forest also has a keen eye for details of military life away from the battlefield the fatigue of marching the hazards of being exposed to the elements for months on end and especially the physical and psychological debilitation of incessant hunger Further removed from the everyday life of the soldier he exposes the corruptions of military procurement and politically controlled promotions Indeed whenever the narrative opens up beyond the immediate experiences of the main characters De Forest provides the reader with engaging characters and incidents Among other delights he shows us the premature spinsters of a New England college town and their low testosterone student beaux the macabre banter of Irish infantrymen on the night after a battle and the alcoholic and profane “Knickerbocker” second lieutenant Cornelius Van Zandt His treatment of religion throughout the book is skeptical or cynical a welcome relief from the piety of Harriet Beecher Stowe The novel is written with an obtrusive narrative voice which constantly inserts opinions and reactions into the telling of the story This can be amusing as when some ironic or sarcastic point is made in regard to institutions and behavior which the characters and their society hold up as moral or praiseworthy or irritating when some point that could have been left to straightforward telling is needlessly emphasized Fortunately De Forest recognized the inherent power of the battle scenes and renders these without any distracting narrative intrusionsIf this novel could have been written as a story of military life during the Civil War rather than as a version of “the marriage plot” with military incidents I think it would stand in the front rank of American novels with works like Moby Dick and Huckleberry Finn; instead it remains a curiosity perennially ripe for rediscovery but unlikely ever to achieve an uncontested place in the canonUpdate Upgraded 3 4 stars Having now read War and Peace from almost the same year I have to say that De Forest's novel is not greatly inferior to that novel widely acknowledged as a masterpiece and holds intrinsic interest for an American reader Miss Ravenel also has the advantage of being written by a participant in the war it describes which counts for much on the page than Tolstoy's tedious theorizing about History Just started this last night but actually had a powerful vision of a book sprouting wings and flying away while reading chapter 1 I was thinking about context and how over time context is lost and and that most books could disappear if the context is too far out of reach Very horrifying idea indeed HI first saw a mention of this book when reading Indian Summer by Howells The novel is typical of the time in a somewhat florid writing style for modern sensibilities but was interesting for its proximity in time to the Civil war being published only 2 years after the war was over There are numerous topical references to people and battles that I was unfamiliar with since most of the described battles are considered minor in the overall arc of the war The male lead is a captain in a volunteer regiment from the fictional New England state of Barataria created by the author specifically to avoid any possible claim that some characters were real people I did not realize that all promotions and officer assignments for these state regiments were handled by the governor of the state In one case a cowardly officer was promoted because he had political ties to a swing congressional district Miss Ravenel is the daughter of a union sympathizer who fled New Orleans at the beginning of the war His daughter born and raised in Louisiana is an ardent secessionist at the beginning of the novel When they arrive in New Boston the young Colborne falls in love with her despite her political views She also meets the slightly disreputable Colonel Carter who recruits Colborne to his regiment When the regiment is assigned to the successful attack and occupation of New Orleans Lillie and her father return to their home Lillie is appalled to find that even though she remains a confederate sympathizer they are social pariahs because her father supports the union which is the first step in her conversion The next step is when she falls in love with Colonel Carter despite her father's disapproval of the match Carter is a twice married drunkard 20 years her senior author has a strong prejudice against strong liuor but comes to adore the innocent Lillie By modern standards Lillie is an unsatisfactory heroine She is giddy and a prattler hating solitary pursuits and always needing validation and encouragement from anyone she is with She does not recognize or appreciate Colborne's love because he is uiet and withdrawn in his demeanor After she marries Carter she often prattles to Colborne of how wonderful her husband is completely unaware that he struggles to disguise his own loveAnother step in her conversion is when her father undertakes to operate a farm using hired negro labor rather than slaves Lillie begins to teach the former slaves to read both children and adults and begins to recognize the humanity of the negro race When the plantation is attacked by Texan cavalry the former slaves are allowed to bear arms and defend themWhat makes this novel worth it for modern readers are the scenes of army life and battles They are frank matter of fact and some are uite shocking in the context of the rest of the novel After Colborne is injured he walks back to the open air field hospital to find a charnel house of amputated limbs At the end of the novel after 3 years in service he returns to New Boston gaunt half starved with a recurring case of malaria He is basically penniless since officers had to provide all their own uniforms and supplies from their salary He must restart his career as a lawyer Lillie is now a widowed mother who found out shortly before her husband's death that he had been unfaithful to her He resumes the courtship interrupted by the war and eventually wins her loveSpecial fun note the Project Gutenberg edition I read included the advertisements for current books from the publisher Harper including Trollope's Barset Chronicles I enjoyed this book than I thought I would; I am not a big Civil War fan but after our recent visit to many battlefields it seemed like a good time to read it DeForest's descriptions were excellent and gave a great picture of the sound sight and smell of the fighting and some insight into the lives and characters of those involved This book is going to be a central feature of a dissertation chapter which makes it difficult to review On one hand this isn't exactly a fantastic novel that will keep a reader engaged and turning pages On the other hand it's a fascinating example of a Civil War soldier writing the war during the war making sense of his experience and trying to fit that into an established and marketable genre The descriptions of invalids battles wounds and childbirth are remarkable Still it was a commercial failure at the time for obvious reasons the romance plot is a bit cliche at best and hackneyed at worst the fantastic battle and hospital scene feel shoehorned into the marriage plot and it's very very long If you're interested in the interplay of bodies emotion and fiction in the mid to late 19th century I'd encourage you to pick this book up However if you're looking for a romance set during the Civil War there are much better books out there Miss Ravenel's Conversion has good moments it is perhaps just an ok novel but it is so prescient about the cultural impact of the Civil War that it has a lot to offer analysis The most interesting insight of the novel that much of the war as experienced by soldiers was actually uite uneventful is strong but doesn't exactly make for a page turner The romance plot which often takes precedence over the war may seem a bit dull at first but its typological dimension maps out many of the north south cultural dynamics two men each bent on conuering the rebel woman the attractive southerner wins first but the boring northerner outlasts him The most interesting chapters are 7 9 20 21 26 and 30 these are worth checking even if you don't commit to the whole I loved it Written shortly after the time in which it takes place the Civil War by a participant in the war this tale has history and action written in the classical style I love but with few pretensions I want to read books by the author

Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty
  • Paperback
  • 544 pages
  • Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty
  • John William De Forest
  • English
  • 10 March 2014
  • 9780140437577