Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ten top civil war novels

Prize-winning author Robert Wilton worked in a number of British Government Departments, including a stint as Private Secretary to three successive UK Secretaries of State for Defence.

At the Guardian he named ten top civil war novels, including:
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

The divisions in Britain continued to fester, over the religion and thus the identity of the king. In Scotland, the effects were bitter and lasting, and they inspired two great novelists. Sir Walter Scott pretty much invented historical fiction and, indeed, historical Scotland; his masterstroke was getting the Prince Regent to wear tartan on a visit to Edinburgh, reconciling Hanoverian and Jacobite traditions with a healthy dose of pantomime. But arguably he’s lasted less well than Robert Louis Stevenson, now recognised as a writer of high literary skill and brilliant imagination, as well as a pioneering critic of colonialism. The Samoans, among whom he settled, called him “the teller of tales”, and readers who return to him as adults are still caught up in the engaging pace and clarity of those tales. Set against the lingering Jacobite tensions, and built around real individuals and incidents, Kidnapped is a simple, timeless adventure.
Read about another entry on the list.

Kidnapped also appears among Janis MacKay's top ten books set on the ocean, Joshua Glenn's top 32 adventure novels of the 19th century, Charlie Fletcher's top ten swashbuckling tales of derring-do, M. C. Beaton's five best cozy mysteries and on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best wicked uncles in literature, ten of the best misers in literature, ten of the best shipwrecks, and ten of the best towers in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue