American Revolutionary War

Playwrights and the American Revolution: “Mistress Firebrand”

22450833Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland
NAL Trade: March 3, 2015 (Historical Fiction)*

I’d go there again! vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

Mistress Firebrand is the third in Thorland’s Renegades of the Revolution, a series that puts a romantic spin on the American Revolution. That said, despite the romance element in Mistress Firebrand, this in no way sugarcoats the challenges faced by people during this period. In particular, I was struck by the challenges faced be the heroine, Jennifer Leighton, an actress trying to make her way as a playwright. Unfortunately, being an independent and ambitious young woman during this time is not a path that is carved smoothly and you sense the almost sinister atmosphere that surrounds Jennifer in many of the decisions that she will be forced to make.

Mistress Firebrand is set in New York in 1775, right in the midst of the American Revolution. Jennifer Leighton has come to the city to stay with her aunt, a notorious and renowned actress who has fled scandal in England. Jenny has been writing plays for one of the playhouses in New York; however, with the revolution going on, the playhouses are being hit hard. What Jenny needs is a patron, and who happens to be in town, John Burgoyne, an English military leader who has great influence in the acting communities in England. Knowing that there is no future for a playwright in America, Jenny decides that she must obtain patronage from Burgoyne and make her way to England.

When Burgoyne receives Jenny’s invitation to see Jenny act, he considers it a different kind of invitation. Yet his protector, Severin Devere, has no intention of letting Burgoyne off his docked ship and into the hands of the Liberty Boys, so Devere is sent to fetch Jenny instead. Unfortunately, this invitation sets in motion some rather severe consequences, forcing Jenny and Severin, devoted spy to England, to make some hard decisions. (more…)

Happy Fourth of July! Now, go read these…

Just three days after Canada Day (happy birthday, Canada!), its southern neighbor celebrates its own origins. Often, with barbeques, friends, family, and fireworks. I’m here to add books to your list of ways to enjoy the holiday. Most of these are historical fiction, but I’ve thrown in a graphic novel, a couple of histories, and an alternate history, too.

Into the Wilderness (Lake in the Clouds #1) Celia Garth Blindspot Jack Absolute (Jack Absolute #1) The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale The Shadow of Albion (Carolus Rex #1) Thirteen Moons Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America The Turncoat (Renegades of the Revolution) Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Dreaming about time travel, romance, and adventure in “The Dreamer”

dreamerThe Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale by Lora Innes
IDW Publishing 2009-2014 (Graphic Novels / SciFi-Fantasy / YA)

My rating: Outstanding Adventure! I’m going to go back again and again and again.

Like Alice down the rabbit hole, I fell right into this webcomic, and right into the Revolutionary War in 1776. And I can’t wait to get my hands on copies of the graphic novels.

Beatrice Whaley (Bea) is a young high schooler in Boston who suddenly starts reliving the Revolutionary War in her dreams. She “wakes up” in the past, just as she’s being rescued from a British ship by a handsome and daring revolutionary officer named Alan Warren. She can’t remember her past, or her recent captivity – just her own life as a modern-day high schooler. She and Alan have a romantic history in the past (untangle that one, if you can!), which she also does not remember. While she’s asleep in the modern world, she rescues Alan from lobsterbacks, gets caught in an ambush, retreats with Alan’s regiment, and generally gets in the army’s way… finally learning her history – firsthand! While she’s awake in the modern world, she’s a talented thespian with a crush on a football player/thespian, and not a very dedicated student.