Catalogue


Landon Carter's uneasy kingdom : revolution and rebellion on a Virginia Plantation /
Rhys Isaac.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
description
xxii, 423 p. : ill.
ISBN
0195159268 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
isbn
0195159268 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5174702
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Rhys Isaac is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the College of William and Mary and a Research Associate of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
George Washington Book Prize , USA, 2005 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2004-05-31:
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Isaac (The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790) offers an eloquent and unique look at the beginnings and consequences of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of early America's finest diarist, Landon Carter. Carter, who owned the magnificent Sabine Hall plantation in Virginia, recorded his daily life from 1752 until just before his death in 1778. Originally used to record "plantation procedures," as Isaac points out, the diary soon grew from a collection of proverbs about when to plant to a journal of Carter's attempt to understand the meaning of the coming revolution for himself and his family. A supporter of the British, Carter nonetheless sided with the growing American quest for liberty. He thought of himself much like a king whose authority extended over the realm of his plantation. As the larger revolution approaches, Carter experiences smaller revolutions and rebellions on his own plantation: his son defies him by marrying against Carter's wishes, and eight of his slaves rise up in an armed rebellion. Angry that his authority is being challenged on all sides, Carter also exhibits perplexity at the changing world around him. Isaac weaves entries from Carter's diary with a splendid biographical narrative to provide a profound and intimate glimpse into one portion of early America. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-06-15:
With this work, a major contribution to the study of the American Revolution, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isaac (Distinguished Visiting Professor, Coll. of William & Mary; The Transformation of Virginia: 1740-1790) shares the results of his 20 years of research on Virginia planter Landon Carter and the remarkable diaries he kept from 1752 to 1778. Carter's rich, evocative writing provides invaluable insight into the life of a landed patriarch in Colonial America, as he shares his innermost concerns about family conflict, which closely parallel his equally troubled thoughts about the revolution, the rebellion and escape of some of his slaves, his role as physician and agrarian patriarch of his tobacco plantation, and his final break with the king. Readers will be fascinated by Carter's impassioned narratives, masterfully placed in their time by Isaac's brilliant analysis. This admirable study joins Claire Tomalin's Samuel Pepys as an example of the finest scholarly analysis of personal diaries. Essential for Colonial America collections in all academic and larger public libraries.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2005-07-01:
This book, largely a selective concordance to the Diary of Landon Carter, weaves in narrative capsules on the lives of characters featured in that work. Landon Carter (1710-78) delves into many subjects of plantation affairs and colonial society. Extremely conscientious, he oversteps himself in trying to dictate the course of action for others. Besides serving as the patriarch for his own family and numerous slaves, Carter meddled in political affairs, including service in the House of Burgesses (1752-68). Isaacs's book does double duty. It explains Carter's decisions in the text, profusely quoting from the Diary, and it presents long, expository footnotes to explain the explanations. The book could use a more distinctive categorization of narrative reconstructions. For this reviewer, Jack P. Greene's expertly annotated and edited The Diary of Colonel Landon Carter of Sabine Hall (1965) remains the very admirable primary study of Carter, and Carter's own prose is easy to read. Isaacs (visiting professor, College of William and Mary) would have served Carter better had he written a biography per se. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; all academic levels. H. M. Ward emeritus, University of Richmond
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A captivating view of a leading planter's personal life and politicaltransformation during the Revolutionary era. Isaac deftly blends pungentextracts from Carter's diary with illuminating biographical details andhistorical commentary.... A splendid addition to our understanding of theVirginia gentry--and of ourselves."--David Shi, Christian Science Monitor
"A detailed, persuasive picture of a world so different from our own as tobe almost unimaginable."--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
"A detailed, persuasive picture of a world so different from our own as to be almost unimaginable."--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
"A detailed, persuasive picture of a world so different from our own as to be almost unimaginable."--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World "A poignant tale of crumbling patriarchy in a world of revolutions.... Unlike most historians, who try to maintain the appearance of objectivity, Isaac, like many anthropologists, feels that his personal perspective and subjective reactions should be made explicit.... The result is a very personal and intimate portrait of a Virginia patriarch."--Gordon S. Wood, The New York Review of Books "A captivating view of a leading planter's personal life and political transformation during the Revolutionary era. Isaac deftly blends pungent extracts from Carter's diary with illuminating biographical details and historical commentary.... A splendid addition to our understanding of the Virginia gentry--and of ourselves."--David Shi, Christian Science Monitor "Full of rich cultural and psychological insights. Isaac sympathetically reveals Carter as a tragic figure, almost as cruel to himself as he was to others. Driven by a perverse but pervasive sense of duty, he alienated almost everyone in his angry wake."--Alan Taylor, New Republic "Offers fresh insights into the character of the plantocracy and its evolution. There is no doubt about the importance of Landon Carter's diary as a window on the planter class and Carter himself. It reveals a man who saw himself as a link in the long chain of patriarchy, whose history stretched back to time immemorial."--Ira Berlin, The Nation "In Isaac's hands the story of the Revolution in a small corner of Virginia breaks into multiple competing narratives that reveal the rich interplay between the local and the Atlantic, between the personal and the political, and, above all, between lost stories told by subalterns and the recorded stories of a patriarch-master."--James Sidbury, The Journal of Southern History "A major contribution to the study of the American Revolution.... Readers will be fascinated by Carter's impassioned narratives, masterfully placed in their time by Isaac's brilliant analysis. This admirable study joins Claire Tomalin's Samuel Pepys as an example of the finest scholarly analysis of personal diaries."-- Library Journal (starred review) "An outstanding work of history.... An extraordinary, fascinating set of firsthand accounts from the revolutionary era."-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "If for nothing else, we should read Landon Carter because he was an honest man, and Rhys Isaac's Landon Carter's Uneasy Kingdom because it is a skilled and honest depiction of the man, his place, and his age."-- Christianity Today "An eloquent and unique look at the beginnings and consequences of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of early America's finest diarist, Landon Carter.... Isaac weaves entries from Carter's diary with a splendid biographical narrative to provide a profound and intimate glimpse into one portion of early America."-- Publishers Weekly (starred review) "As an expert and incredibly knowledgeable editor, Rhys Isaac guides us through the diaries of the great and deeply human Virginia patriarch, Landon Carter, ultimately the owner of over 700 black slaves, as he responds with both joy and furious anger to the coming of the American Revolution and to the seismic shocks it brought to Virginia's old regime and to his own authoritarian family."--David Brion Davis "Isaac convincingly portrays Carter, one of Virginia's twelve richest men, as a figure ensnared by contradictions: In his energetic defense of American liberty, Carter appreciated that he was helping to destroy a hierarchical world to which he was intensely attached....Isaac is a sensitive guide to Carter's world, and reading his systematic exploration is the only way for the layman to comprehend the diaries properly."--Ben Schwarz, Atla
"A detailed, persuasive picture of a world so different from our own as to be almost unimaginable."--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World "A poignant tale of crumbling patriarchy in a world of revolutions.... Unlike most historians, who try to maintain the appearance of objectivity, Isaac, like many anthropologists, feels that his personal perspective and subjective reactions should be made explicit.... The result is a very personal and intimate portrait of a Virginia patriarch."--Gordon S. Wood, The New York Review of Books "A captivating view of a leading planter''s personal life and political transformation during the Revolutionary era. Isaac deftly blends pungent extracts from Carter''s diary with illuminating biographical details and historical commentary.... A splendid addition to our understanding of the Virginia gentry--and of ourselves."--David Shi, Christian Science Monitor "Full of rich cultural and psychological insights. Isaac sympathetically reveals Carter as a tragic figure, almost as cruel to himself as he was to others. Driven by a perverse but pervasive sense of duty, he alienated almost everyone in his angry wake."--Alan Taylor, New Republic "Offers fresh insights into the character of the plantocracy and its evolution. There is no doubt about the importance of Landon Carter''s diary as a window on the planter class and Carter himself. It reveals a man who saw himself as a link in the long chain of patriarchy, whose history stretched back to time immemorial."--Ira Berlin, The Nation "In Isaac''s hands the story of the Revolution in a small corner of Virginia breaks into multiple competing narratives that reveal the rich interplay between the local and the Atlantic, between the personal and the political, and, above all, between lost stories told by subalterns and the recorded stories of a patriarch-master."--James Sidbury, The Journal of Southern History "A major contribution to the study of the American Revolution.... Readers will be fascinated by Carter''s impassioned narratives, masterfully placed in their time by Isaac''s brilliant analysis. This admirable study joins Claire Tomalin''s Samuel Pepys as an example of the finest scholarly analysis of personal diaries."--Library Journal (starred review) "An outstanding work of history.... An extraordinary, fascinating set of firsthand accounts from the revolutionary era."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "If for nothing else, we should read Landon Carter because he was an honest man, and Rhys Isaac''s Landon Carter''s Uneasy Kingdom because it is a skilled and honest depiction of the man, his place, and his age."--Christianity Today "An eloquent and unique look at the beginnings and consequences of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of early America''s finest diarist, Landon Carter.... Isaac weaves entries from Carter''s diary with a splendid biographical narrative to provide a profound and intimate glimpse into one portion of early America."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "As an expert and incredibly knowledgeable editor, Rhys Isaac guides us through the diaries of the great and deeply human Virginia patriarch, Landon Carter, ultimately the owner of over 700 black slaves, as he responds with both joy and furious anger to the coming of the American Revolution and to the seismic shocks it brought to Virginia''s old regime and to his own authoritarian family."--David Brion Davis "Isaac convincingly portrays Carter, one of Virginia''s twelve richest men, as a figure ensnared by contradictions: In his energetic defense of American liberty, Carter appreciated that he was helping to destroy a hierarchical world to which he was intensely attached....Isaac is a sensitive guide to Carter''s world, and reading his systematic exploration is the only way for the layman to comprehend the diaries properly."--Ben Schwarz, Atlantic Monthly "By creatively exploiting the remarkable diary of the eighteenth-century Virginia planter Landon Carter of Sabine Hall--a character out of a Fielding novel if there ever was one--Rhys Isaac has written an extremely imaginative book that brings to life the world of this well-meaning but often ludicrous slave-master in all its humanity and inhumanity. From Isaac''s rendition of Carter''s story-filled diary we learn, among other things, how rebellions against patriarchal authority both in Carter''s own household and in the British empire were transforming American society."--Gordon S. Wood "A lively portrait of a busy, prolific character who went from being a monarchist to a reluctant revolutionary in the course of one lively adulthood. An irascible figure among neighbors, a respected member of Virginia''s pre-Revolutionary House of Burgesses, and an often-brutal, sometimes-charitable master to his slaves and children, Carter embodied the paradoxes of his age. Carter was a dutiful chronicler of this changing world. And Mr. Isaac, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for ''The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-90,'' proves to be a strong advocate for Carter''s voluminous musings."--New York Sun "Masterfully, creatively, Rhys Isaac uses the words of one of America''s great patricians to tell the story of the birth of the new republic and the psychological traumas that resulted. Deftly, Isaac moves between the public and the domestic, the political and the psychological in a tale as complex, nuanced and fascinating as was the figure it describes." --Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, Mary Frances Berry Collegiate Professor of History and American Culture, University of Michigan "Landon Carter''s diary is an unedited literary masterpiece full of Faulknerian stories. Now it has found a worthy editor and commentator in Rhys Isaac, a great storyteller in his own right. The result is a fascinating tale of public storms and personal furies that illuminates not only the dying world of the eighteenth century slaveholder but the dawning age of democratic revolution. Landon Carter''s Uneasy Kingdom is itself a literary and historical masterpiece." --John Gillis, Rutgers University, author of A World of Their Own Making: Myth, Legenc and the Quest for Family Values
"A detailed, persuasive picture of a world so different from our own as to be almost unimaginable."--Jonathan Yardley,Washington Post Book World "A poignant tale of crumbling patriarchy in a world of revolutions.... Unlike most historians, who try to maintain the appearance of objectivity, Isaac, like many anthropologists, feels that his personal perspective and subjective reactions should be made explicit.... The result is a very personal and intimate portrait of a Virginia patriarch."--Gordon S. Wood,The New York Review of Books "A captivating view of a leading planter''s personal life and political transformation during the Revolutionary era. Isaac deftly blends pungent extracts from Carter''s diary with illuminating biographical details and historical commentary.... A splendid addition to our understanding of the Virginia gentry--and of ourselves."--David Shi,Christian Science Monitor "Full of rich cultural and psychological insights. Isaac sympathetically reveals Carter as a tragic figure, almost as cruel to himself as he was to others. Driven by a perverse but pervasive sense of duty, he alienated almost everyone in his angry wake."--Alan Taylor,New Republic "Offers fresh insights into the character of the plantocracy and its evolution. There is no doubt about the importance of Landon Carter''s diary as a window on the planter class and Carter himself. It reveals a man who saw himself as a link in the long chain of patriarchy, whose history stretched back to time immemorial."--Ira Berlin,The Nation "In Isaac''s hands the story of the Revolution in a small corner of Virginia breaks into multiple competing narratives that reveal the rich interplay between the local and the Atlantic, between the personal and the political, and, above all, between lost stories told by subalterns and the recorded stories of a patriarch-master."--James Sidbury,The Journal of Southern History "A major contribution to the study of the American Revolution.... Readers will be fascinated by Carter''s impassioned narratives, masterfully placed in their time by Isaac''s brilliant analysis. This admirable study joins Claire Tomalin''sSamuel Pepysas an example of the finest scholarly analysis of personal diaries."--Library Journal(starred review) "An outstanding work of history.... An extraordinary, fascinating set of firsthand accounts from the revolutionary era."--Kirkus Reviews(starred review) "If for nothing else, we should read Landon Carter because he was an honest man, and Rhys Isaac''sLandon Carter''s Uneasy Kingdombecause it is a skilled and honest depiction of the man, his place, and his age."--Christianity Today "An eloquent and unique look at the beginnings and consequences of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of early America''s finest diarist, Landon Carter.... Isaac weaves entries from Carter''s diary with a splendid biographical narrative to provide a profound and intimate glimpse into one portion of early America."--Publishers Weekly(starred review) "As an expert and incredibly knowledgeable editor, Rhys Isaac guides us through the diaries of the great and deeply human Virginia patriarch, Landon Carter, ultimately the owner of over 700 black slaves, as he responds with both joy and furious anger to the coming of the American Revolution and to the seismic shocks it brought to Virginia''s old regime and to his own authoritarian family."--David Brion Davis "Isaac convincingly portrays Carter, one of Virginia''s twelve richest men, as a figure ensnared by contradictions: In his energetic defense of American liberty, Carter appreciated that he was helping to destroy a hierarchical world to which he was intensely attached....Isaac is a sensitive guide to Carter''s world, and reading his systematic exploration is the only way for the layman to comprehend the diaries properly."--Ben Schwarz,Atlantic Monthly "By creatively exploiting the remarkable diary of the eighteenth-century Virginia planter Landon Carter of Sabine Hall--a character out of a Fielding novel if there ever was one--Rhys Isaac has written an extremely imaginative book that brings to life the world of this well-meaning but often ludicrous slave-master in all its humanity and inhumanity. From Isaac''s rendition of Carter''s story-filled diary we learn, among other things, how rebellions against patriarchal authority both in Carter''s own household and in the British empire were transforming American society."--Gordon S. Wood "A lively portrait of a busy, prolific character who went from being a monarchist to a reluctant revolutionary in the course of one lively adulthood. An irascible figure among neighbors, a respected member of Virginia''s pre-Revolutionary House of Burgesses, and an often-brutal, sometimes-charitable master to his slaves and children, Carter embodied the paradoxes of his age. Carter was a dutiful chronicler of this changing world. And Mr. Isaac, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for ''The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-90,'' proves to be a strong advocate for Carter''s voluminous musings."--NewYork Sun "Masterfully, creatively, Rhys Isaac uses the words of one of America''s great patricians to tell the story of the birth of the new republic and the psychological traumas that resulted. Deftly, Isaac moves between the public and the domestic, the political and the psychological in a tale as complex, nuanced and fascinating as was the figure it describes." --Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, Mary Frances Berry Collegiate Professor of History and American Culture, University of Michigan "Landon Carter''s diary is an unedited literary masterpiece full of Faulknerian stories. Now it has found a worthy editor and commentator in Rhys Isaac, a great storyteller in his own right. The result is a fascinating tale of public storms and personal furies that illuminates not only the dying world of the eighteenth century slaveholder but the dawning age of democratic revolution.Landon Carter''s Uneasy Kingdomis itself a literary and historical masterpiece." --John Gillis, Rutgers University, author ofA World of Their Own Making: Myth, Legenc and the Quest for Family Values
"A major contribution to the study of the American Revolution.... Readerswill be fascinated by Carter's impassioned narratives, masterfully placed intheir time by Isaac's brilliant analysis. This admirable study joins ClaireTomalin's Samuel Pepys as an example of the finest scholarly analysis ofpersonal diaries."--Library Journal (starred review)
"A major contribution to the study of the American Revolution.... Readers will be fascinated by Carter's impassioned narratives, masterfully placed in their time by Isaac's brilliant analysis. This admirable study joins Claire Tomalin's Samuel Pepys as an example of the finest scholarlyanalysis of personal diaries."--Library Journal (starred review)
"An eloquent and unique look at the beginnings and consequences of theAmerican Revolution as seen through the eyes of early America's finest diarist,Landon Carter.... Isaac weaves entries from Carter's diary with a splendidbiographical narrative to provide a profound and intimate glimpse into oneportion of early America."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"An outstanding work of history.... An extraordinary, fascinating set offirsthand accounts from the revolutionary era."--Kirkus Reviews (starredreview)
"An outstanding work of history.... An extraordinary, fascinating set of firsthand accounts from the revolutionary era."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A poignant tale of crumbling patriarchy in a world of revolutions.... Unlike most historians, who try to maintain the appearance of objectivity, Isaac, like many anthropologists, feels that his personal perspective and subjective reactions should be made explicit.... The result is a verypersonal and intimate portrait of a Virginia patriarch."--Gordon S. Wood, The New York Review of Books
"As an expert and incredibly knowledgeable editor, Rhys Isaac guides usthrough the diaries of the great and deeply human Virginia patriarch, LandonCarter, ultimately the owner of over 700 black slaves, as he responds with bothjoy and furious anger to the coming of the American Revolution and to theseismic shocks it brought to Virginia's old regime and to his own authoritarianfamily."--David Brion Davis
"As an expert and incredibly knowledgeable editor, Rhys Isaac guides us through the diaries of the great and deeply human Virginia patriarch, Landon Carter, ultimately the owner of over 700 black slaves, as he responds with both joy and furious anger to the coming of the American Revolutionand to the seismic shocks it brought to Virginia's old regime and to his own authoritarian family."--David Brion Davis
"By creatively exploiting the remarkable diary of the eighteenth-centuryVirginia planter Landon Carter of Sabine Hall--a character out of a Fieldingnovel if there ever was one--Rhys Isaac has written an extremely imaginativebook that brings to life the world of this well-meaning but often ludicrousslave-master in all its humanity and inhumanity. From Isaac's rendition ofCarter's story-filled diary we learn, among other things, how rebellions againstpatriarchal authority both in Carter's own household and in the British empirewere transforming American society."--Gordon S. Wood
"Full of rich cultural and psychological insights. Isaac sympathetically reveals Carter as a tragic figure, almost as cruel to himself as he was to others. Driven by a perverse but pervasive sense of duty, he alienated almost everyone in his angry wake."--Alan Taylor, New Republic
"If for nothing else, we should read Landon Carter because he was an honest man, and Rhys Isaac's Landon Carter's Uneasy Kingdom because it is a skilled and honest depiction of the man, his place, and his age."--Christianity Today
"In Isaac's hands the story of the Revolution in a small corner of Virginia breaks into multiple competing narratives that reveal the rich interplay between the local and the Atlantic, between the personal and the political, and, above all, between lost stories told by subalterns and therecorded stories of a patriarch-master."--James Sidbury, The Journal of Southern History
"In Isaac's hands the story of the Revolution in a small corner of Virginia breaks into multiple competing narratives that reveal the rich interplay between the local and the Atlantic, between the personal and the political, and, above all, between lost stories told by subalterns and the recorded stories of a patriarch-master."--James Sidbury, The Journal of Southern History
"Isaac convincingly portrays Carter, one of Virginia's twelve richest men,as a figure ensnared by contradictions: In his energetic defense of Americanliberty, Carter appreciated that he was helping to destroy a hierarchical worldto which he was intensely attached....Isaac is a sensitive guide to Carter'sworld, and reading his systematic exploration is the only way for the layman tocomprehend the diaries properly."--Ben Schwarz, Atlantic Monthly
"Isaac convincingly portrays Carter, one of Virginia's twelve richest men, as a figure ensnared by contradictions: In his energetic defense of American liberty, Carter appreciated that he was helping to destroy a hierarchical world to which he was intensely attached....Isaac is a sensitiveguide to Carter's world, and reading his systematic exploration is the only way for the layman to comprehend the diaries properly."--Ben Schwarz, Atlantic Monthly
"Landon Carter's diary is an unedited literary masterpiece full ofFaulknerian stories. Now it has found a worthy editor and commentator in RhysIsaac, a great storyteller in his own right. The result is a fascinating tale ofpublic storms and personal furies that illuminates not only the dying world ofthe eighteenth century slaveholder but the dawning age of democratic revolution.Landon Carter's Uneasy Kingdom is itself a literary and historical masterpiece."--John Gillis, Rutgers University, author of A World of Their Own Making: Myth,Legenc and the Quest for Family Values
"Masterfully, creatively, Rhys Isaac uses the words of one of America'sgreat patricians to tell the story of the birth of the new republic and thepsychological traumas that resulted. Deftly, Isaac moves between the public andthe domestic, the political and the psychological in a tale as complex, nuancedand fascinating as was the figure it describes." --Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, MaryFrances Berry Collegiate Professor of History and American Culture, Universityof Michigan
"Offers fresh insights into the character of the plantocracy and its evolution. There is no doubt about the importance of Landon Carter's diary as a window on the planter class and Carter himself. It reveals a man who saw himself as a link in the long chain of patriarchy, whose historystretched back to time immemorial."--Ira Berlin, The Nation
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, May 2004
Library Journal, June 2004
Washington Post, August 2004
Choice, July 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Landon Carter, a Virginia planter patriarch, left behind one of the most revealing of all American diaries. In this astonishingly rich biography, Rhys Isaac mines this remarkable document--and many other sources--to reconstruct Carter's interior world as it plunged into revolution. The aging patriarch, though a fierce supporter of American liberty, was deeply troubled by the rebellion and its threat to established order. His diary, originally a record of plantation business, began to fill with angry stories of revolt in his own little kingdom. Carter writes at white heat, his words sputtering from his pen as he documents the terrible rupture that the Revolution meant to him. Indeed, Carter felt in his heart he was chronicling a world in decline, the passing of theorder that his revered father had bequeathed to him. Not only had Landon's king betrayed his subjects, but Landon's own household betrayed him: his son showed insolent defiance, his daughter Judith eloped with a forbidden suitor, all of his slaves conspired constantly, and eight of them made an armedexodus to freedom. The seismic upheaval he helped to start had crumbled the foundations of Carter's own home. Like Laurel Ulrich in her classic A Midwife's Tale, Rhys Isaac here unfolds not just the life, but the mental world of our countrymen in a long-distant time. Moreover, in this presentation of Landon Carter's passionate narratives, the diarist becomes an arresting new character in the world's literature, a figure of Shakespearean proportions, the Lear of his own tragic kingdom. This long-awaited work will be seen both as a major contribution to Revolution history and a triumph ofthe art of biography.
Main Description
Landon Carter, a Virginia planter patriarch, left behind one of the most revealing of all American diaries. In this astonishingly rich biography, Rhys Isaac mines this remarkable document -- and many other sources -- to reconstruct Carter's interior world as it plunged into revolution. The aging patriarch, though a fierce supporter of American liberty, was deeply troubled by the rebellion and its threat to established order. His diary, originally a record of plantation business, began to fill with angry stories of revolt in his own little kingdom. Carter writes at white heat, his words sputtering from his pen as he documents the terrible rupture that the Revolution meant to him. Indeed, Carter felt in his heart he was chronicling a world in decline, the passing of the order that his revered father had bequeathed to him. Not only had Landon's king betrayed his subjects, but Landon's own household betrayed him: his son showed insolent defiance, his daughter Judith eloped with a forbidden suitor, all of his slaves conspired constantly, and eight of them made an armed exodus to freedom. The seismic upheaval he helped to start had crumbled the foundations of Carter's own home. Like Laurel Ulrich in her classic A Midwife's Tale, Rhys Isaac here unfolds not just the life, but the mental world of our countrymen in a long-distant time. Moreover, in this presentation of Landon Carter's passionate narratives, the diarist becomes an arresting new character in the world's literature, a figure of Shakespearean proportions, the Lear of his own tragic kingdom. This longawaited work will be seen as both a major contribution to Revolution history and a triumph of the art of biography. Book jacket.
Main Description
Landon Carter, a Virginia planter patriarch, left behind one of the most revealing of all American diaries. In this astonishingly rich biography, Rhys Isaac mines this remarkable document--and many other sources--to reconstruct Carter's interior world as it plunged into revolution. The aging patriarch, though a fierce supporter of American liberty, was deeply troubled by the rebellion and its threat to established order. His diary, originally a record of plantation business, began to fill with angry stories of revolt in his own little kingdom. Carter writes at white heat, his words sputtering from his pen as he documents the terrible rupture that the Revolution meant to him. Indeed, Carter felt in his heart he was chronicling a world in decline, the passing of the order that his revered father had bequeathed to him. Not only had Landon's king betrayed his subjects, but Landon's own household betrayed him: his son showed insolent defiance, his daughter Judith eloped with a forbidden suitor, all of his slaves conspired constantly, and eight of them made an armed exodus to freedom. The seismic upheaval he helped to start had crumbled the foundations of Carter's own home. Like Laurel Ulrich in her classic A Midwife's Tale , Rhys Isaac here unfolds not just the life, but the mental world of our countrymen in a long-distant time. Moreover, in this presentation of Landon Carter's passionate narratives, the diarist becomes an arresting new character in the world's literature, a figure of Shakespearean proportions, the Lear of his own tragic kingdom. This long-awaited work will be seen both as a major contribution to Revolution history and a triumph of the art of biography.
Main Description
Landon Carter, a Virginia planter patriarch, left behind one of the most revealing of all American diaries. In this astonishingly rich biography, Rhys Isaac mines this remarkable document--and many other sources--to reconstruct Carter's interior world as it plunged into revolution. The aging patriarch, though a fierce supporter of American liberty, was deeply troubled by the rebellion and its threat to established order. His diary, originally a record of plantation business, began to fill with angry stories of revolt in his own little kingdom. Carter writes at white heat, his words sputtering from his pen as he documents the terrible rupture that the Revolution meant to him. Indeed, Carter felt in his heart he was chronicling a world in decline, the passing of the order that his revered father had bequeathed to him. Not only had Landon's king betrayed his subjects, but Landon's own household betrayed him: his son showed insolent defiance, his daughter Judith eloped with a forbidden suitor, all of his slaves conspired constantly, and eight of them made an armed exodus to freedom. The seismic upheaval he helped to start had crumbled the foundations of Carter's own home. Like Laurel Ulrich in her classic A Midwife's Tale, Rhys Isaac here unfolds not just the life, but the mental world of our countrymen in a long-distant time. Moreover, in this presentation of Landon Carter's passionate narratives, the diarist becomes an arresting new character in the world's literature, a figure of Shakespearean proportions, the Lear of his own tragic kingdom. This long-awaited work will be seen both as a major contribution to Revolution history and a triumph of the art of biography.
Main Description
Landon Carter, a Virginia planter patriarch, left behind one of the most revealing of all American diaries. In this astonishingly rich biography, Rhys Isaac mines this remarkable document--and many other sources--to reconstruct Carter's interior world as it plunged into revolution. The aging patriarch, though a fierce supporter of American liberty, was deeply troubled by the rebellion and its threat to established order. His diary, originally a record of plantation business, began to fill with angry stories of revolt in his own little kingdom. Carter writes at white heat, his words sputtering from his pen as he documents the terrible rupture that the Revolution meant to him. Indeed, Carter felt in his heart he was chronicling a world in decline, the passing of the order that his revered father had bequeathed to him. Not only had Landon's king betrayed his subjects, but Landon's own household betrayed him: his son showed insolent defiance, his daughter Judith eloped with a forbidden suitor, all of his slaves conspired constantly, and eight of them made an armed exodus to freedom. The seismic upheaval he helped to start had crumbled the foundations of Carter's own home. Like Laurel Ulrich in her classicA Midwife's Tale, Rhys Isaac here unfolds not just the life, but the mental world of our countrymen in a long-distant time. Moreover, in this presentation of Landon Carter's passionate narratives, the diarist becomes an arresting new character in the world's literature, a figure of Shakespearean proportions, the Lear of his own tragic kingdom. This long-awaited work will be seen both as a major contribution to Revolution history and a triumph of the art of biography.
Main Description
Landon Carter, a Virginia planter patriarch, left behind one of the most revealing of all American diaries. In this astonishingly rich biography, Rhys Isaac mines this remarkable document--and many other sources--to reconstruct Carter's interior world as it plunged into revolution. The aging patriarch, though a fierce supporter of American liberty, was deeply troubled by the rebellion and its threat to established order. His diary, originally a record of plantation business, began to fill with angry stories of revolt in his own little kingdom. Carter writes at whiteheat, his words sputtering from his pen as he documents the terrible rupture that the Revolution meant to him. Indeed, Carter felt in his heart he was chronicling a world in decline, the passing of the order that his revered father had bequeathed to him. Not only had Landon's king betrayed hissubjects, but Landon's own household betrayed him: his son showed insolent defiance, his daughter Judith eloped with a forbidden suitor, all of his slaves conspired constantly, and eight of them made an armed exodus to freedom. The seismic upheaval he helped to start had crumbled the foundations ofCarter's own home. Like Laurel Ulrich in her classic A Midwife's Tale, Rhys Isaac here unfolds not just the life, but the mental world of our countrymen in a long-distant time. Moreover, in this presentation of Landon Carter's passionate narratives, the diarist becomes an arresting new character in the world'sliterature, a figure of Shakespearean proportions, the Lear of his own tragic kingdom. This long-awaited work will be seen both as a major contribution to Revolution history and a triumph of the art of biography.
Short Annotation
Landon Carter, a Virginia planter and patriarch, left behind one of the most complete diaries ever kept by a colonial American.
Unpaid Annotation
In this long-awaited work, Isaac mines the diary of a Revolutionary War-era Virginia planter--and many other sources--to reconstruct his interior world as it plunged into turmoil.
Table of Contents
The Argumentp. XI
First Wordsp. XIII
Dramatis Personae
The Carters and the Bealesp. XXIII
Sabine Hall--1770s Staff of the Dual Householdp. XXIV
Revolution in House and Home
Morning of Revolutionp. 3
The Egypt of This Exodusp. 17
"All for Love"p. 37
Enlightenment Calm
Plantation Pastoralp. 57
Landon's Libraryp. 85
Plantation Medical Sciencep. 105
Politics, War, and Rebellion
Landon, Legislatorp. 123
Rebellions Beginp. 163
A Troubled Old Regime
Master and Slavesp. 187
Duties Betrayedp. 233
Contests at Homep. 265
King Lear Into the Storm
Primal Rebellionsp. 287
Landon and Nassawp. 313
Toward Deathp. 323
Last Wordsp. 333
Chronologyp. 337
Annotationp. 339
About the Illustrationsp. 396
Acknowledgmentsp. 400
Indexp. 401
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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