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Daughter of America's Napoleon
on 1 October 2012
Really readable and enjoyable story of Theodosia, daughter of charismatic and ambitious Vice-President Aaron Burr. Levered into an unsatisfying marriage which will benefit her father, Theodosia is sent to the fever-filled lands of the Waccamaw Neck in S. Carolina, where her husband owns a plantation.
Yet everything in her life takes second place to the father she adores:
'you appear to me so superior, so elevated above all other men, I contemplate you with such a strange mixture of humility, admiration, reverence, love and pride, that very little superstition would be necessary to make me worship you as a superior being' (from an actual letter she wrote in 1809).
However her father's star is on the wane- debt, killing a political rival in a dual, and his subsequent grandiose schemes to become- like his contemporary Napoleon- an emperor, lead to his being a wanted man...
Seton conjures up the world of 1800s Carolina particularly well: the scenery, the 'gullah' slave communities, the plantations and the disease.
Some of the romantic scenes were faintly Mills and Boonish, but I did enjoy the book and learnt so much!