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To Have and to Hold

Mary Johnston

Book Overview: 

A story that takes place in colonial Jamestown in 1600, To Have and To Hold melds itself to a combination of a romance novel, a sea faring story, as well as an adventure story.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The flesh is a strong giant, very full of pride and lust of living, and the spirit must needs keep watch and ward, seizing every opportunity to mortify and deject its adversary. Goodwife Allen is still gaping with the crowd at the fort, and your man and maid have not yet come, but I shall be overhead if you need aught. Mistress Percy must want rest after her ride."

He was gone, leaving us two alone together. She stood opposite me, beside the window, from which she had not moved since entering the room. The color was still in her cheeks, the light in her eyes, and she still held the roses with which Sparrow had heaped her arms. I was moving to the table.

"Wait!" she said, and I turned toward her again.

"Have you no questions to ask?" she demanded.

I shook my head. "None, madam."

"I was the King's ward!" she cried.

I bowed, but spoke no word, though she waited for me.

"If you will listen," she sa. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book was an unexpected delight. Besides the fascinating historicity of 17th century life in the early Virginia settlement (Jamestown), there is a love story, a good meaty villain, and a winsome, well developed cast of characters. The place sketches (land, water, geography, topography) is so...more

I love this book. So very romantic, and exciting, in a Victorian sort of way but minus the dripping sentimentality. Rather like the Scarlet Pimpernel, actually!

A tale of adventure and Providence set in early Jamestown.

The Story.

I, Ralph Percy had no intention to marry. I am a landholder, but more importantly, a soldier in the new world. As such, I have neither the leisure nor inclination to establish a family. Nevertheless, I was delighted to be visited...more

This is one of my favorite books, and I have an excellent first edition copy. I notice that some people did not like the Vision Forum edition (while I like Vision Forum, I despise edited books), so I would recommend that someone either order an unedited copy from a used book store or read the fre...more

This book, a first edition published in 1900, was a gift to me by my son Carson. It is the basis of the first movie he was cast in which was filmed in November 2011. This book was the favorite novel of the producer's deceased wife. It was billed as a love story. There is a love story that develop...more

In Which I Summarize My Thoughts
I had no idea what to expect with this. I didn't realize “To Have And To Hold” was the #1 bestselling book of 1900, and perhaps I should have researched before committing to do a review; however, the whole idea of immersing myself in Jamestown 1621 was fairly intox...more

I selected this title for the collection, and it's my favorite of our inaugural line-up. But then, I am a sucker for anything Colonial American! To Have and to Hold was originally published as a serial, so you can expect lots of dramatic twists and turns. It's rich in real history with gorgeous l...more

I stumbled across this book by accident when I was teaching high school and had access to the musty old supply room. There were thirty copies of the "adapted" version which must have been used to teach remedial readers forty or fifty years ago. Not exactly a good recommendation for a book!


I learned a bit of Jamestown history that I wasn't aware of. I am not big on fiction or love stories. I never read them. I highly recommend this book inspite of that. The relationship between the "couple" was handled very responsibly and respectfully raising this book to a whole new level. Far ab...more

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...more

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