History & Politics

08/30/2016 - 12:08am
Cover to The Circle Unbroken: Civil War Letters of the Knox Family of Fredericksburg

In antebellum Fredericksburg, the Knox family was rather well-off and respected by their community. The family home at 1200 Princess Anne Street, now the Kenmore Inn, was nigh unto their house of worship at St. George’s Episcopal Church. They ran a successful business and had a pleasant life filled with many luxuries.

Yet by the time the Civil War was over, sons Robert and James Knox had experienced the dire consequences of battle from trench to prison camp. The rest of the family, forced to evacuate the Fredericksburg several times, learned to live as refugees and take care of themselves as well as the people they met.

08/25/2016 - 12:51pm
The National Park Service Centennial: A Speaker Series

A Joint Program of the National Park Service and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

This September, the National Park Service and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library will host a speaker series focusing on various topics related to the history of the National Park Service, which turned 100 years old on August 25.

All programs are free and begin at 7:00. They will be held at Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s Headquarters at 1201 Caroline Street.

08/18/2016 - 11:03am
If you like Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Ada, the woman he loved there years before. His trek across the disintegrating South brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with slaves and marauders, bounty hunters and witches, both helpful and malign. At the same time, Ada is trying to revive her father's derelict farm and learn to survive in a world where the old certainties have been swept away. As it interweaves their stories,Cold Mountainasserts itself as an authentic AmericanOdyssey--hugely powerful, majestically lovely, and keenly moving. (catalog summary)
 

If you like Cold Mountain, you might like these titles:



All the Pretty Horses
by Cormac McCarthy
This is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off from the only life he has ever imagined for himself. With two companions, he sets off for Mexico on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams are paid for in blood. Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction. (catalog summary)

 

 

Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall
Amid the mayhem of the American Civil War, a Virginia plantation wife is put on trial by her slaveholder husband. Iris Dunleavy is convicted of madness by a Virginia judge; it is the only reasonable explanation the court can see for her willful behavior, so she is sent to Sanibel Asylum to be restored to a good compliant wife. But Iris knows her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing with him on Southern notions of justice, cruelty, and property. The asylum calls itself modern, but Iris is skeptical of its methods, particularly the dreaded "water treatment." In this isolated place, she finds love with Ambrose. But can she take him with her if she escapes? Will there be anything for them to make a life from, back home? This novel is the story of a spirited woman, a wounded soldier, their impossible love, and the call of freedom. (catalog summary)

 

08/10/2016 - 1:52pm
If you like Historical Fiction & Mysteries

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Are you looking for a mystery--but not set in the present day? A mystery that was solved long ago? A rogue hero or heroine that fears nothing from the past? Look no further. Here are a few fresh--all published in 2016--historical mysteries for you to dive into.

As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber
July 1831. In the midst of their idyllic honeymoon in England's Lake District, Kiera and Gage's seclusion is interrupted by a missive from Kiera's new father-in-law. A deadly incident involving a distant relative of the Duke of Wellington has taken place at an abbey south of Dublin, Ireland, and he insists that she and Gage look into the matter. Intent on discovering what kind of monster could murder a woman of the cloth, the couple travels to Rathfarnham Abbey school. (catalog summary)
 


Better Dead by Max Allan Collins
It's the early 1950's. Joe McCarthy is campaigning to rid America of the Red Menace. Nate Heller is doing legwork for the senator, though the Chicago detective is disheartened by McCarthy's witch-hunting tactics. He's made friends with a young staffer, Bobby Kennedy, while trading barbs with a potential enemy, the attorney Roy Cohn, who rubs Heller the wrong way. Not the least of which for successfully prosecuting the so-called Atomic Bomb spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. When famous mystery writer Dashiell Hammett comes to Heller representing a group of showbiz and literary leftists who are engaged in a last minute attempt to save the Rosenbergs, Heller decides to take on the case. (catalog summary)

 

The Butcher Bird by S.D. Skyes 
Oswald de Lacey is growing up fast in his new position as Lord of Somershill Manor. The Black Death changed many things, and just as it took away his father and elder brothers, leaving Oswald to be recalled from the monastery where he expected to spend his life, so it has taken many of his villagers and servants. However, there is still the same amount of work to be done in the farms and fields, and the few people left to do it think they should be paid more - something the King himself has forbidden. Just as anger begins to spread, the story of the Butcher Bird takes flight. People claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush. And then more children disappear. Convinced the bird is just a superstitious rumor, Oswald must discover what is really happening. (catalog summary)

 

08/02/2016 - 2:14pm
If you like A Tradition of Victory by Alexander Kent

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

A Tradition of Victory by Alexander Kent
Called upon to lead his ships into a reckless but essential attack on Napoleon's fleet, Rear Admiral Richard Bolitho is torn between duty and his desire to return to the woman he loves. (catalog summary)

 

If you like Alexander Kent, here are a few more titles involving the Napoleonic Period on the High Seas:

 

The Fortune of War by Patrick O'Brian
Jack Aubrey, commander of the best-armed frigate in the Royal Navy, leaves the Dutch East Indies to return to England in a dispatch vessel, but the outbreak of the War of 1812 delays his journey and draws him into bloody battle. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

 

Guernseyman by C. Northcote Parkinson
Richard Delancey, inadvertently embroiled in Liverpool labor riots, sidesteps punishment by "volunteering" for the Navy. Ranked as a midshipman, he is no sooner aboard than his ship sails for the port of New York. But when the events of the American Revolution and the ongoing hostilities between England and France send him back across the sea, Delancey finds himself instrumental in defending the Isle of Jersey and, later, the Rock of Gibraltar. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/03/2016 - 9:43am
Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War

Pamela J. Toler’s Heroines of Mercy Street is the true history behind the popular PBS series set in occupied Alexandria, Virginia, during the Civil War. Caveat here: I did read the book before watching a single episode. I found Toler’s narrative to be engaging and an excellent window to the time. With wildly varying levels of training (many, such as Louisa May Alcott, had only nursed family patients while another trained with celebrated British nurse Florence Nightingale), they all had a sense of duty and enthusiasm for the job that did not wane as the war ground on—though it did exhaust them and occasionally kill them.

07/24/2016 - 7:44am
Priests, Politics, and Health Among Indians in Colonial Virginia

Dr. Jason Sellers, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Mary Washington, will speak on "Priests, Politics, and Health Among Indians in Colonial Virginia" at Headquarters Library on Thursday, August 25 at 7:00. The talk is in conjunction with the interactive exhibit Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness, on display through the end of August.

08/09/2016 - 3:03pm

The public is invited to a talk on "Walking in This World: Native American Social Issues Yesterday and Today," presented by Dr. Karenne Wood at Headquarters Library on Thursday, August 11, at 7:00.

Dr. Wood is a member of the Monacan Indian Nation and Director of Virginia Indian Programs at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. This talk is being held in conjunction with the Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness exhibition, on display through August. Dr. Wood will examine American Indian ways of living in sustainable communities, the administration of justice and peacekeeping, the important roles of women in society, and how children were viewed.  

07/16/2016 - 1:41pm
A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe

What would really happen if thousands of people died in a city every day from an illness? Even worse, a city with few to no hospitals and only a bare bones emergency infrastructure? When the illness might leave no mark on a person until he or she fell over dead in front of you? And that’s when you realize, you have been exposed and could be next. What would you do?

07/08/2016 - 9:45am
Verifying Native American Ancestry through DNA Testing

“Great-Grandma said we have an Indian princess in the family . . . . “  

Since DNA testing for genealogy began nearly 20 years ago, we have made many leaps and bounds with how, when, and why it can be used. Many Americans have a family story that features the marriage of a Native American into the lineage. Frequently, these stories make us wonder about who we are on the inside.

On Tuesday, August 2, at 7:00, Shannon Combs-Bennett, biologist and genealogist, will discuss what DNA testing could tell you about your ancestry, as well as which test you may want to take to verify your genealogy. An author and frequent lecturer on genealogy, Shannon will present her talk in support of the library’s Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Wellness exhibition.

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