Prisons

Front Cover
University of South Carolina Press, 1996 - Fiction - 256 pages
2 Reviews
Prisons, the first volume of The Beulah Quintet - Mary Lee Settle's unforgettable generational saga about the roots of American culture, class, and identity and the meaning of freedom - follows the coming-of-age of Johnny Church from English youngster to dashing Oxford adolescent to idealistic Puritan in the service of Cromwell's Parliamentary Army. Throughout his evolution, Johnny seeks emancipation from a multitude of emotional, political, and religious prisons, not realizing that with each successive grasp at freedom, he escapes one form of captivity only to be confined by another. When Cromwell, the leader Johnny has supported so staunchly, limits the freedoms for which Johnny has taken up arms, he bravely questions the commander. Shortly thereafter he finds himself held in a prison of stone and mortar where, as an example to other soldiers tempted to champion their rights, he is executed. Based on a true incident of the English Civil War, Prisons captures the promise and tragedy of the conflict that led to one of the first substantial migrations to North America and lays the foundation for the next chapter in Settle's riveting saga - O Beulah Land.

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Review: Prisons: Book I of the Beulah Quintet (Beulah Quintet #1)

User Review  - Susan Beecher - Goodreads

Fine novel that had me looking up my English history to figure out what they were fighting about in 1600s England. Read full review

Review: Prisons: Book I of the Beulah Quintet (Beulah Quintet #1)

User Review  - Chad Perrin - Goodreads

I'm normally very skeptical of historical fiction, because half of the genre is dominated by pretentious stuffed shirts who know their history well and have a snooze-inducing narrative voice, while ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
5
Section 2
13
Section 3
15
Copyright

23 other sections not shown

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About the author (1996)

Historical fiction novelist Mary Lee Settle was born in Charleston, West Virginia on July 29, 1918. She attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia for two years, before becoming a fashion model. During World War II, she volunteered for service in the women's auxiliary arm of the Royal Air Force. After the war, she briefly worked as a magazine editor before deciding to become a full-time writer. She was also an associate professor at Bard College from 1965 to 1976 and taught at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Settle's experiences as the only American in a barracks full of British women is recalled in the book All the Brave Promises: Memories of Aircraft Woman 2nd Class 214391. Her massive work, The Beulah Quintet, tells the story of the state of West Virginia from 1754 to the present and begins with the journey of former English prisoners to West Virginia's Kanawha Valley. She won the National Book Award in 1978 for Blood Tie, which is the story of American and British expatriates in Turkey and was written while she was living there. A prevailing theme throughout all her novels is the struggle for freedom at all levels, including intimately, domestically, and historically. Settle died on September 27, 2005, at the age of 87, from lung cancer.

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