A Lesser Form of Patriotism: A Novel of the King's Carolina Rangers and of the American Revolution in the South.
A Lesser Form of Patriotism: A Novel of the King's Carolina Rangers and of the American Revolution in the South
Author: G.G. Stokes Junior
Publisher: ePress-online Inc., Elwood,
Utah, ISBN: 978-1-934258-16-3
Soft cover, 291 pages
Loving Lynn Celia: A Novel of the French and Indian War
Author: G.G. Stokes Junior
Publisher: ePress-online Inc., Elwood, Utah, ISBN: 978-1-93458-30-9
Soft cover, 181 pages
Realistic, high energy, drama come close to describing the reason a reader might, with eagerness, vicariously experience the Loyalist life in the perilous years of the French Indian Wars, 1754-1763 and the American Revolution, 1775-1783. Author and historical researcher, Gerald Stokes, wrote A Lesser Form of Patriotism first, followed by its prequel, Loving Lynn Celia. The threads tying the two books together are the detailed descriptions of historic everyday military life and the fortunes of one family and their descendants through two major wars on North American soil.
The more technical novel, complete with endnotes, A Lesser Form of Patriotism, takes place in Georgia and the Carolinas, and follows the fortunes of Egrain and John Stokes as they flee from Rebel attack on the fort at Ninety-Six. Following raids, narrow escapes and military life of John and the other Rangers on active duty between Augusta and Long Swamp Village, the reader will appreciate the rich, mundane details, sights, smells and sounds of daily village, camp and military life.
Valuable as a research tool in its own right is the set of endnotes on pages 281 to 286 that give detailed historic notes about the narrative. While not included in Loving, these notes are relevant in describing food, tools, cooking and hunting methods and other details about social history.
The author's life experiences enrich these two novels to a marked degree. Being a teacher with a degree in History and Social Sciences, he demonstrates the need to instruct with great effect in these two books.
Having served in the United States Army and in the Georgia Army National Guard, Stokes' attention to detail in tirelessly describing the military details of battle in the various sorties, raids and attacks between Georgia and North Caroline is evident. He describes the tension, courage and life-skills of soldiering through John's experiences without losing sight of the big picture--that there were altruists and scoundrels on both sides, Patriot and Loyalist, in this conflict.
I should also mention that the plight of the First Nations Cherokee and nearby Indian nations is detailed through John's eyes as the French and Indian Wars drag on. We learn about the matrilineal society with advanced women's rights, the proven ways of survival in the harsh frontier and the overtures of friendship of the native people to the newcomers until their way of life was compromised by unseen political forces.
I would highly recommend these two books to senior public school and high school readers who relish history and high drama.
Both Reviewed by Grietje R. McBride UE, B.Sc.