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Mary Johnston - To Have and To Hold

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Mary Johnston - To Have and To Hold.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Mary Johnston(Author)

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This was the #1 best-selling novel in the United States in 1900, made into movies several times in subsequent years. It is set in colonial North America, beginning in the year 1621. A new movie adapted from the book was filmed in 2011. The dialog is Early Modern English, somewhat similar to Shakespeare's writings, not contemporary English but similar enough to be understood. The narration is almost modern English, easily understood. An English soldier, Ralph Percy, turned Virginian explorer in Jamestown colony, buys a wife -- a girl named Jocelyn Leigh -- not knowing that she is the escaped ward of King James I, fleeing a forced marriage to Lord Carnal. Jocelyn has no love for Ralph at first; she even seems to abhor him and explains she only married to have refuge after she fled from England, under an assumed name. Lord Carnal, Jocelyn's husband-to-be, eventually comes to Jamestown to find his promised bride, not knowing that Ralph Percy and Jocelyn Leigh are already man and wife. Lord Carnal attempts to kidnap Jocelyn several times and eventually follows Ralph, Jocelyn, and their two companions, as they escape from the King's orders to arrest Ralph and carry Jocelyn back to England. This romance-epic-adventure novel carries the reader along with humor, shipwreck, pirates, entrapment, false accusations, trial, colonial conflict with Native Americans, capture, rescue, suicide, salvation, love, happy ending -- what more could one want?

2.5 (7858)
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Book details

  • PDF | 122 pages
  • Mary Johnston(Author)
  • CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 18, 2016)
  • English
  • 2
  • Romance

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Review Text

  • By Chatelaine on February 19, 2008

    This is one of the most captivating novels I've read in a long time. Originally published in 1907 for the Jamestown tercentennial, it was republished last year for the four hundredth birthday of the Jamestown settlement. Appropriately, the setting is colonial Jamestown. Several history characters are introduced and become a part of the story. James Rolfe is the best friend of the story's hero. A good writer can bring readers to laughter and tears, and Mary Johnston does both. The story has been revised by Joshua and Sarah Wean. Whatever you may be looking for in a novel, from romance, adventure, intrigue, history, forgiveness, repentance, and the mercy of God, this book has it all.Captain Ralph Percy is our hero, and a hero worthy of the name. He goes into Jamestown at the suggestion of a friend, who had informed him that he ought to take a wife. Many single young ladies were just arriving from England to be wives of the settlers, so the present time was an excellent opportunity. Captain Percy is a gentleman, and delivers a lovely young woman from being insulted. She accepted his marriage proposal on the spot. He is a Christian gentleman, and vows to love, cherish, and protect his wife with his life, though it's little she seems to care about it. Throughout the book, Percy battles hostile Indians, Spaniards, haughty English nobles, his wife's indifference to him, and his own natural desire for revenge, to eventually win his heart's desire. He constantly affirms and follows through with his duty, even through the many dangerous and precarious situations it brings him to. At last when he can conquer his bitterest enemy, he cannot bring himself to kill him as it would displease and dishonor God.This book is definitely to be highly recommended for the storyline, never mind the excellent history content. Boys and girls of all ages will relish the adventure, admire a clear picture of a valiant, Godly man, and respect a woman who chooses truth, honor and love.

  • By Bomojaz on March 28, 2005

    Set in the early 1600s in Virginia, hero Ralph Percy marries Jocelyn Leigh on sight (she arrives at Jamestown on a boat full of women from England, there for the purpose of finding a husband; she is escaping a despicable suitor, Lord Carnal). At first she despises Percy, but after many adventures (some among the Indians), sword fights, pirating, and the eventual death of Carnal, who had come to America to pursue Jocelyn, true love wins out. Johnston is good at forwarding the action throughout the story, but some of the incidents are pretty far-fetched. They ate this stuff up back in 1900 when it was first published: it's one of the most popular historical novels ever published in America.

  • By A. Mitchell on January 26, 2007

    I read this book in High School. Its still in my heart, I have never forgotten it. I'm now 60 years old.

  • By D. K. Stokes on November 22, 2008

    In early 17th-century Virginia, Lady Jocelyn Leigh arrives as part of a shipload of eligible brides disguised as her maid, Patience Worth. She'd taken the opportunity presented when Patience got cold feet to escape a forced marriage to the king's favorite, Lord Carnal.Captain Ralph Percy wasn't intending to join the throng of men meeting the ship to find a bride, but his friends persuade him he needs a wife, so he goes, but mostly just hangs back, observing.Until Patience Worth is assaulted by an overeager suitor, and Captain Percy comes to her rescue. They're married by the quirky minister, Jeremy Sparrow, who later becomes their friend and companion in adventure, then they set off for Captain Percy's home.In her defense, Jocelyn is honest with him. She explains her situation and tells him she married him for protection from Lord Carnal. And in true historical romance tradition (obviously I was remiss in thinking this was a modern plot device!), she declines to sleep with him, and he's too much of a gentleman to push the issue.Eventually, Lord Carnal shows up, searching for her, and the adventure is on. Captain Percy won't give her up, whether it's because he's fallen in love with her as the book cover says, or whether it's a matter of extreme devotion to duty, which is how I read it--she's his wife, therefore he protects her, period--he faces certain death, if not outright from Lord Carnal, then from the law when he's charged with treason for thwarting the king's wishes.Nor is Lord Carnal the only danger they face--there's also an Indian uprising to contend with.To Have and to Hold was for me much more readable than the last old book I read. It was told in first person from Captain Percy's point of view, with amusing chapter headings. Most likely, it's my pitiful education in history which makes me surprised when a book written over 100 years ago isn't dry and completely serious. The adventure is a bit over-the-top, but it's an adventure story, and not any more unbelievable than ones written today.The writing style is, of course, not modern, and there were even some words I didn't recognize--whether they were common 100 years ago or the result of the book's historical setting, I don't know.Early 17th-century America is not a setting I'm at all familiar with, so that was interesting as well. I enjoyed the glimpse into that time period. What To Have and to Hold being the bestselling book of 1900 says about America of 1900, I don't know, but it gives me an interesting impression.

  • By Cecile on October 13, 2016

    I found this book valuable mainly as an example of literary history. Published in 1900, it was a best seller. The story and characters are highly romanticized, and the descriptions are extremely wordy. It reflects attitudes of the late 19th century toward Native Americans and African Americans.


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