Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty   -     By: John De Forest
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Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty

Penguin Books / 2000 / Paperback

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Product Description

Drawing on his own combat experience in the Union forces, John W. De Forest crafted a war novel like nothing before it in the annals of American literature. As a captain in the 12th Connecticut Regimental Volunteers, De Forest joined in the battles of Georgia Landing and Bisland and in the siege of Port Hudson in Louisana in 1862-63, and he saw action in Sheridan's Shenadoah Valley campaign in 1864. His firsthand knowledge of "the wilderness of death" made its way onto the pages of his riveting novel with devastating effect. Whether depicting the tedium before combat, the unspoken horror of battle, or the grisly butchery of the field hopital, De Forest broke new ground, anticipating the realistic war writings of Hemingway, 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 written." As Gary Scharnhorst writes in his introduction to this new edition, "In the whole reach of American fiction there is no novel more deserving, on both aesthetic and historical grounds, to be resurrected from the footnote than Miss Ravenel's Conversion."

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2000
Dimensions: 8.12 X 5.12 (inches)
ISBN: 0140437576
ISBN-13: 9780140437577

Publisher's Description

More panoramic in scope and more 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 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 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 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 written."

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 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.

Author Bio

Gary Scharnhorst is editor of American Literary Realism and editor in alternating years of the research annual American Literary Scholarship.

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