Primary Resource

"Turbulent Virginia" (1898)

In this review, published on October 10, 1898, an anonymous writer for the Baltimore Sun praises Prisoners of Hope by Mary Johnston. Set in 1663, the novel is based in part on the Gloucester County Conspiracy, which involved a planned rebellion by indentured servants, who intended to march on the home of Governor Sir William Berkeley. The review also mentions the Virginia novelist Mary Spear Tiernan.

Transcription from Original

"Prisoners of Hope." A tale of colonial Virginia. By Mary Johnston. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Cushing & Co.

The story is of Jamestown and the time of Governor Berkley—the unsuccessful insurrection of the slaves, redemptioners and Round heads, and the attacks of the Indians of the frontier on the settlement. It is not a new field. We have had romances of colonial Virginia from "Handsford" down to the excellent work of Mrs. Tiernan and Miss Maud Wilder Goodwin.

There is room for another, however, and especially for one as fresh in description of wood life and romantic in incident as this. The hero, Landless, is one of the redemptioners. He has, of course, been unjustly condemned. He falls in love with the daughter of his master, Colonel Verney; has the opportunity to rescue her when carried off by the attacking Indians, and the result as regards these two young people, but not the ending of the story, may be foreseen.