[ read online Reading ] Dawn's Early LightAuthor Elswyth Thane – Entrecielos.co

Colonial Williamsburg lives again in this rich story which is Elswyth Thane s first novel of American history in her bestselling series Against a background of Williamsburg s quiet streets, the pomp and glitter of the Palace during the last days of British rule, and the excitement and triumph which swirled through the Raleigh Tavern, we see the people of Williamsburg whom history has forgotten aristocratic St John Sprague, who became George Washington s aide Regina Greensleeves, the spoilt Virginia Beauty Julian Day, the young schoolmaster, just arrived from England and finally, Tibby, the most appealing, irresistible creature Miss Thane has ever written about Washington, Jefferson, Lafayette, Greene, Francis Marion, and the rest of that brilliant galaxy are portrayed not as historical figures but as men We see de Kalb s gallant death under a cavalry charge at Camden, the swamp encircled camp which was Marion s fastness on the Peedee, and the cat and mouse game between Cornwallis and Lafayette, which ended in Cornwallis s unlucky stand at Yorktown Dawn s Early Light is the human story behind America s first war for liberty, and of men and women loving and laughing through war to the dawn of a better world


10 thoughts on “Dawn's Early Light

  1. Margaret Margaret says:

    This is the first in a series of seven historical novels called the Williamsburg Novels, which follow the families of the Days and the Spragues of Williamsburg, Virginia, through over 160 years, many generations, and several wars from the American Revolution in Dawn s Early Light through the beginning years of World War II in This Was Tomorrow and Homing I have read them so many times starting when I was about seven years old that I practically have them memorized, as have most of the other This is the first in a series of seven historical novels called the Williamsburg Novels, which follow the families of the Days and the Spragues of Williamsburg, Virginia, through over 160 years, many generations, and several wars from the American Revolution in Dawn s Early Light through the beginning years of World War II in This Was Tomorrow and Homing I have read them so many times starting when I was about seven years old that I practically have them memorized, as have most of the other women in my family Each book focuses on one or two main romances, with other strands of story weaving through them.Thane has two remarkable gifts which keep the books compelling through every read The first is the ability to portray the events, characters, and atmosphere of the historical periods she s writing about convincingly and memorably Thane spent many years doing research in the United States and in England, and she s able to translate her research into a richly detailed historical background.Against this background is set Thane s other gift her characters You might think that in a series of seven books about the same family, the characters would tend to blend into each other, but that s not the case every one of them is an individual personality The nicest effect of this is that as the books get closer together in time Ever After through Homing only covers slightly over forty years , many characters feature throughout the books, and you get to see how their personalities and relationships develop over time and how the romances central to previous books worked out Rereading the Williamsburg books is like revisiting old, loved friends I can remember meeting them for the first time, but it s even nicer to revisit them


  2. Tweety Tweety says:

    After two of my Goodreads friends read this and enjoyed it, I knew I had to read it soon, so I picked it up anticipating something wonderful And it lived up to, and passed my expectations so much that I had to make sure I had at least the next two books at my disposal This is the story of two friends, especially Julian Day.Julian Day who has recently arrived in America from England, finds all the plans he and his father had laid for their stay in America to be useless and now he hasn t a clue After two of my Goodreads friends read this and enjoyed it, I knew I had to read it soon, so I picked it up anticipating something wonderful And it lived up to, and passed my expectations so much that I had to make sure I had at least the next two books at my disposal This is the story of two friends, especially Julian Day.Julian Day who has recently arrived in America from England, finds all the plans he and his father had laid for their stay in America to be useless and now he hasn t a clue what to do all on his own Thankfully, Julian makes the acquaintance of St John Sprage, and they become fast friends even against the political unrest going on around them and the barrier that comes from them being of separate opinions on the verge of war St John is a liberal through and through Yet, he isn t the kind to turn a cold shoulder to those of a differing opinion, like Julian Day who feels both sides to be at fault and Regina Greensleeves, a spoilt, selfish, Williamsburg beauty who s Tory to the bone The least said the better, when it comes to the proud Regina, who delights in playing with people s feelings, particularly St John through the blind Julian St John s sees exactly what she is, and loves her anyway His sister, Dorothy is as sweet as she is nearsighted, and has an endearing way of tilting her head to see better I love the side story the author gave her, for me is was completely satisfying Now for my favorite character, Tibby, who s only about ten when this story begins I can t say much about her since she is wrapped up in so much of the plot, but that s she s worth reading about and that she s got her eyes wide open to things around her I can say I can t remember the last time I read about a character I loved so much I don t know what it is about her, but she really got to me Some might find her story slightly unsatisfactory or just not their type, but if you like romance where it goes from friendship to love you should like it The war talk in the middle wasn t particularly interesting to me, but the rest of the book was so go this book had to get five stars PG some swearing, a bit of violence and that s it if my memory serves me right


  3. Hana Hana says:

    Five stars for the history, two stars for the various romances for a weighted average of three and a half stars This would have been a much stronger book had Elswyth Thane chosen to simply tell the story of Julian Day, a young man who travels from London with his father who is taking up a post in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1774 When his father dies during the voyage, Day is bewildered left without money or friends or purpose in this strange new land Julian s story, his character arc, the t Five stars for the history, two stars for the various romances for a weighted average of three and a half stars This would have been a much stronger book had Elswyth Thane chosen to simply tell the story of Julian Day, a young man who travels from London with his father who is taking up a post in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1774 When his father dies during the voyage, Day is bewildered left without money or friends or purpose in this strange new land Julian s story, his character arc, the tale of his growing friendship with another transplanted Englishman, Saint John Sprague, and Julian s changing feelings about the colonists revolt arethan enough to engage the reader I love the way Julian feels the wilderness, the vast size of the land, almost as a weight pressing in upon him The unvarnished images of life in this exotic world, as seen by Julian, are very well done The Virginians take slavery for granted and Julian is shocked, surprised and sometimes led to rethink his ideas as some slaves seem happy and well treated, though, Sprague had said is was far otherwise with the wild Negroes In the early days the Revolution seemed an intellectual struggle and when it first breaks out the physical fighting is far away in Boston But then war comes to the south and Julian is drawn in This is by far the most powerful part of the book Thane spares no details about the horrors of swamp warfare Sand filled his broken boots, sifted through his mended, worn out stockings, and made agonizing grit between his tows In his nostrils was the now familiar stench of hot, unwashed sickly men, and the sweating horses of the officersTalk was forbidden, but still there were sounds the sound of a retching man unable to suppress a groan and a curse the sound of a man who trippedand could not rise again and did not care It gets worse and Thane lays bare not just the mens suffering, but also the abysmal failures of leadership in the early years of the war.Well, I suppose I ll have to mention the romances.There are three women girls in the story and all are mildly interesting, but not terribly well developed as characters Perhaps because I have just finished a deeply detailed reading of Elizabeth Gaskell s psychologically brilliant romantic history North and South, I found the women and the romances in Thane s book superficial, unconvincing and a distraction from the strong central character and his powerful experiences.The final chapters in which view spoiler every one gets paired off for an improbable HEA is particularly unnecessary and weak Even poor blind as a bat Dorothea is discovered at the last minute by a Frenchman seemingly imported just to save her from spinsterhood hide spoiler Tibby, who is described on the dust jacket as the most appealing, irresistible creature Miss Thane has ever written about just never seemed fully real to me view spoiler It would have been so muchplausible to simply hint at her growing, changing feelings for Julian and then to have him come back from the war to see this lovely young woman all grown up We don t really need it spelled out, especially if we ve just read North and South hide spoiler I will definitely be readingof Elswyth Thane, but I ll let the memories of Gaskell s North and South fade a little first


  4. Misfit Misfit says:

    Julian Day arrives in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1774 His father died on the voyage, but Julian soon makes friends including the Sprague family who take him under their wing JuliaN finds himself torn between his loyalty to King George and his new friends who want freedom from the crown at all costs Julian takes the vacant position of schoolmaster and the story focuses on his relationships with the Spragues as well as the two urchins he takes under his wing Kit Christopher and Tibby Tabith Julian Day arrives in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1774 His father died on the voyage, but Julian soon makes friends including the Sprague family who take him under their wing JuliaN finds himself torn between his loyalty to King George and his new friends who want freedom from the crown at all costs Julian takes the vacant position of schoolmaster and the story focuses on his relationships with the Spragues as well as the two urchins he takes under his wing Kit Christopher and Tibby Tabitha As for the romantic attachments Well, Tibby loves Julian Julian thinks Tibby loves St John St John loves Regina Dorothea loves Julian Julian loves Regina so he thinks and Regina loves no one but herself Whew Julian switches his loyalty to the Colonists and joins the rank and file, eventually working up in the ranks and serving under General Lafayette And that s about all I m going to tell you, read it for yourself Very interesting watching Julian s loyalties change, as well as his growing relationship with _________, and the interactions with many of the players of this period Some of the battle scenes in the middle section were a bit tedious for me although I was a bit tired at the time and only for that am I dropping this to a four star rating This is the first in a series and as I understand it this is the rest in order, Yankee Stranger Ever After The Light Heart Kissing Kin This Was Tomorrow Homing


  5. Kristina Kristina says:

    I found this book accidentally, when I searched Williamsburg in my hometown library s database, before making my first of many trips there I didn t get a chance to read it before I went, but read it a couple of weeks after I had gotten back There was definitely something to it, not reading the book before I went I think I would have been disappointed had I not found Colonial Williamsburg the same charming, laid back yet self confident town that Elswyth Thane had so eloquently portrayed t I found this book accidentally, when I searched Williamsburg in my hometown library s database, before making my first of many trips there I didn t get a chance to read it before I went, but read it a couple of weeks after I had gotten back There was definitely something to it, not reading the book before I went I think I would have been disappointed had I not found Colonial Williamsburg the same charming, laid back yet self confident town that Elswyth Thane had so eloquently portrayed that s not to say that it isn t, just that the focus on tourism takes some of the charm away Everything about the book is right from the pace, to the tone, the descriptions of the scenery and the development of the characters It s all about transformation the colonies are in the midst of a rebellion that suddenly becomes violent Julian Day has just lost his father and is a Loyalist in Virginia Tibby is experiencing love and loss during her teenage years There is something uniquely disarming and thoroughly captivating about being an observor in the personal romantic turmoils that occur alongside of and juxtapose the shifts in political affiliations, both individual and societal The balance of romance, history and war is unmatchable in any other historical fiction I have read, as is the amount and depth of the meticulous detail that has been carefully weaved into the story to provide as authentic a feel as possible


  6. Hannah Hannah says:

    This is a very well written, heavily researched story of the American Revolutionary period in Williamsburg, VA Thane s writing style transports you straight to the period and scenery, so much so that you feel and hear and see and smell all the things in the scenes Julian, Tibbie, St John, Dorothea, Reginaetc, etc,all seem to spring off the page.Now, fair warning there is a lot of profanity I would have read this story much faster if they hadn t been so free with their curses As it wa This is a very well written, heavily researched story of the American Revolutionary period in Williamsburg, VA Thane s writing style transports you straight to the period and scenery, so much so that you feel and hear and see and smell all the things in the scenes Julian, Tibbie, St John, Dorothea, Reginaetc, etc,all seem to spring off the page.Now, fair warning there is a lot of profanity I would have read this story much faster if they hadn t been so free with their curses As it was, I did lay the book aside a number of times to get some space from the language It won t bother everyone, but I don t believe it s okay for Christians to be using God s name lightly or in jest, so it bothered me plenty Otherwise the content was clean


  7. OLT OLT says:

    I read this book for the first time in the early 1960s or perhaps late 1950s and had my very own paperback copy purchased for about 30 cents that I read and reread as a kid This is the first of Elswyth Thane s 7 book Williamsburg series, which follows the Day and Sprague families from the time of the American Revolution up to WWII.This one, about the American Revolution, was first published in 1943 but is not dated for modern readers except perhaps for the acceptance of and lack of indignatio I read this book for the first time in the early 1960s or perhaps late 1950s and had my very own paperback copy purchased for about 30 cents that I read and reread as a kid This is the first of Elswyth Thane s 7 book Williamsburg series, which follows the Day and Sprague families from the time of the American Revolution up to WWII.This one, about the American Revolution, was first published in 1943 but is not dated for modern readers except perhaps for the acceptance of and lack of indignation about slavery on the part of the colonist characters in the book That would be an unfortunate sign of the times when it was written and probably of when it took place Other than that, the historical elements about the colonists, the Constitutional Congress, Washington, Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Lafayette, battles with the British, etc are unobjectionable and interesting and memory tweaking of stuff we all learned in American history at school.So the book serves as a refresher course on the American Revolution and at the same time offers us a story about life and love during that time, with a great cast of characters and sweet romances Please don t be expecting anything sexy or prurient It s a quality series of books that Thane wrote that can be read by young teens My personal favorite as a young girl was Yankee Stranger, the second in the series, which takes place during the Civil War I do hope the whole series will be available on Kindle So far it s just these first two


  8. Jeanette Jeanette says:

    It s good but for me held several flaws A couple of the romance aspects were difficult to obscure in order to approach a process to embed, enjoy and understand the dynamics of Julian s changing loyalties And the founders included, those historic figures, they came alive to a 4 star quality of appearance, attitude and role for each And those in a changing mode, at times, as well But despite that the copy length readings for the children and especially Tibby So far fetched to have an 11 year It s good but for me held several flaws A couple of the romance aspects were difficult to obscure in order to approach a process to embed, enjoy and understand the dynamics of Julian s changing loyalties And the founders included, those historic figures, they came alive to a 4 star quality of appearance, attitude and role for each And those in a changing mode, at times, as well But despite that the copy length readings for the children and especially Tibby So far fetched to have an 11 year old have those captured feelings in the way that was repeatedly demonstrated I guess it is possible, but with all the other issues of the real life positions, jobs, duties for meeting and ascription etc going on here It doesn t seem to fit.This was much better for me in the war and battles sense, than it was for all the unrequited love aspects They normally never float my boat at all At least here they were association understandable.But Regina I really liked the slowness and depth at points which really put you into the intimate face and pace of Virginia as it existed just then Fury and then lots of waiting And not just for soldiers, although people in any army probably understand that kind of momentum.It s a good illustration of the questions and lengths to purpose most citizens of these colonies would have at this particular time How much dominance and taxing for next to nothing in return would they abide Or what levels would be tolerable But it was extremely well constructed to convey that the American Revolution, unlike the French one, did not come out of intense anger and need for revenge retributions or any frothing of mob violence, but from an independent course of thoughts and muchdisciplined offense Many of the prime concerns of these men and their dithers for government quite different and not all coordinating with each other But most of the onus centered for almost all of them on the position of the individual citizen, merchant, or whatever in his place that was far from the onerous dictates of a faraway and to them corrupt and complicated system One that still was most connected by liege loyalties and class separations of widest divide And quite apart from the system of everyman that was starting to settle in so many New World towns and cities.It would have been a better book if it was completely Julian s conscience and thoughts dominated throughout Not for some, but for me I like historical fiction mostly straight up Less romance andpower motive More like Hilary Mantel


  9. Mallory Mallory says:

    Rating 3.5 stars Update I had a fewdifficulties with the story this time around Namely, why did it not strike me the last time the underlying racism in this book I am ashamed if I didn t notice it before Thane portrays slaves as cheerful and happy, always acquiescent, looking only for their master s good She has several of her characters state this view as their own early on Perhaps my attitudes have changed in the five years since I first read it However, I still delighted in Than Rating 3.5 stars Update I had a fewdifficulties with the story this time around Namely, why did it not strike me the last time the underlying racism in this book I am ashamed if I didn t notice it before Thane portrays slaves as cheerful and happy, always acquiescent, looking only for their master s good She has several of her characters state this view as their own early on Perhaps my attitudes have changed in the five years since I first read it However, I still delighted in Thane s descriptiveness and way with words It struck me, especially in the first half of the book, how relevant the events then are to what s going on now Political ideas were diverse and strong, yet people on opposite sides could still debate and be friends There wasn t an animosity toward the other side like we see today rather, a genuine willingness to understand and show respect Julian is still an enjoyable character and I like seeing how his desire to simply blend in and avoid conflict slowly morphs into a desire to do something, anything to protect his adopted homeland.Rating 4 stars The Revolutionary War is one of the most fascinating time periods in history for me This novel brings Williamsburg to life during that turbulent time and peoples it with characters both real and imagined We get to see this land through the eyes of Julian Day, an Englishman just off the ship who has come to teach school He is immediately overwhelmed by the beauty and vitality of Virginia, a place he had supposed to still be backwoods wilderness He is also astonished by the talk he hears against the king and the wishes expressed of a longing for self government But the longer Julian stays and thefriends he makes, he soon realizes that his heart and mind are changing America has a hold on him and he must make a choice The love story that drives the book is a tad unusual, but becomes endearing if for no other reason than Tibby s persistence Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I intend to read the rest of Thane s Williamsburg novels Favorite quotes Of course it s big, man, it s America It s so big we aren t quite sure where it ends St John Sprague It was a young world he had come to, and Williamsburg seemed a toy town where politics and war and even learning were solemn games played by charming children And yet, he would remind himself, these self confident, free and easy folk were the sons and daughters of men and women who had toiled and suffered amid deadly dangers to carve this perilous paradise out of the wilderness which lay even now at their threshold Here was history in the making and he realized with some astonishment that he himself had had a hand in its making For months he had been caught up in the day to day intricacies of army life perspective opened suddenly before him there on the field of surrender This was a war, and they were winning it This was a great day indeed


  10. CLM CLM says:

    Young Julian Day arrives in Williamsburg from England in 1774 amid the hubbub of pre Revolutionary War Virginia Will the friends he makes there overcome his Tory inclinations Can a shy schoolteacher make his place among the bold Patriots of the New World What happens when he falls in love with the woman promised to his best friend