O Beulah Land

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University of South Carolina Press, 1956 - Fiction - 368 pages
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O Beulah Land, the second 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 - is a land-hungry story. It follows the odyssey of Johnny Church's descendants as they leave England in search of freedom and land. One of those descendants, Jonathan Lacey, settles in the backcountry of Virginia, where he battles both Native Americans and white frontier bandits and builds the beginning of a flourishing estate named Beulah. The novel closes shortly before the commencement of the Revolutionary War, with Lacey elected to the House of Burgesses and his family line firmly established in what is to become the state of West Virginia.

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About the author (1956)

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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