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The Virginians

William Makepeace Thackeray

Book Overview: 

It tells the story of Henry Esmond's twin grandsons, George and Henry Warrington. Henry's romantic entanglements with an older woman lead up to his taking a commission in the British army and fighting under the command of General Wolfe at the capture of Quebec. On the outbreak of the American War of Independence he takes the revolutionary side. George, who is also a British officer, thereupon resigns his commission rather than take up arms against his brother. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .In the early morning poor Chaplain Sampson sent over his little black mare by the hands of his groom, footman, and gardener, who wept and bestowed a great number of kisses on the beast's white nose as he handed him over to Gumbo. Gumbo and his master were both affected by the fellow's sensibility; the negro servant showing his sympathy by weeping, and Harry by producing a couple of guineas, with which he astonished and speedily comforted the chaplain's boy. Then Gumbo and the late groom led the beast away to the stable, having commands to bring him round with Mr. William's horse after breakfast, at the hour when Madam Bernstein's carriages were ordered.

So courteous was he to his aunt, or so grateful for her departure, that the master of the house even made his appearance at the morning meal, in order to take leave of his guests. The ladies and the chaplain were present—the only member of the family absent was Will: who, however, left a note for his cousi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I've read 100 books in 3 years but never have I found a book so ... so interminable. It's a potboiler sequel to Henry Esmond that made me wonder if inconsequential plot churn like this is really so much better than a soap like Downton Abbey. It is of course because it is so well written - which mean

A brilliant 1000 page novel follow up to the already great History of Henry Edmond.

The childhood stuff is very bad, but it gets better. If you're this deep into Thackeray's works you're more than desperate enough to finish this one.

I adored the History of Henry Esmond, and think it ought to be better known, because it has a great underdog hero, a real sense of immersion in the historical age in which it is set, the reign of Queen Anne, a secret which changes everything at the end, and a surprising love story. Thackeray obvious

I found this a dreadfully dull book ; very little interesting about the main plot, and nothing about the side plots. Hard for me to believe this is by the author of "Vanity Fair"!

This book has a promising premise with two Virginia brothers fighting on opposite sides of the Revolutionary War. It has an author whose word choices and warm observations I really liked in Vanity Fair. Yet, where the option given to me, I would borrow a term from Facebook and review it with a big "

My advice is not to start reading this unless you know you have a great deal of spare time ahead. Oh, and you must have read all of Thackeray's other novels first, or you'll miss many of the references. And then you're in for a real treat....this novel, as with all his others apart from Vanity Fair,

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