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Gertrude Atherton

Book Overview: 

This novel by the prolific Californian author Gertrude Horn Atherton is based on the real life story of Nikolai Rezanov, a man who, in 1806, pushed for the Russian colonization of Alaska and California. "Not twenty pages have you turned before you know this Rezanov, privy councilor, grand chamberlain, plenipotentiary of the Russo-American company, imperial inspector of the extreme eastern and northwestern dominions of his imperial majesty Alexander the First, emperor of Russia—all this and more, a man." Twenty-one years later, Atherton penned the biography "Rezánov and Doña Concha" on the centennial of a famed romance between the statesman and a Spanish girl, who became a nun after his death

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .New Albion of Drake and the California of the incompetent Spaniard.


The Russians were to call at the house of the Commandante on their way to the Mission, and Concha herself made the chocolate with which they were to be detained for another hour. It was another sparkling morning, one of the few that came between winter and summer, summer and winter, and made even this bleak peninsula a land of enchantment before the cold winds took the sand hills up by their foundations and drove them down to Yerba Buena, submerging the battery and every green thing by the way; or the great fogs rolled down from the tule lands of the north and in from the sea, making the shivering San Franciscan forget that not ten miles away the sun was as prodigal as youth. For a few weeks San Francisco had her springtime, when the days were warm and the air of a wonderful lightness and brightness, the atmosphere so clear that the flowers might be seen on the isla. . . Read More