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Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty
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Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty

3.2  ·  Rating Details ·  61 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
More panoramic in scope and more realistic in its details than Crane'sRed Badge of Courage, this is one of the first and best novels ever written about the American Civil War

Drawing on his own combat experience with the Union forces, John W. De Forest crafted a war novel like nothing before it in the annals of American literature. His first-hand knowledge of "the wilderne
Paperback, 544 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by Penguin Classics (first published January 1st 1867)
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Jul 09, 2011 Susanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: old-books
Does this novel depict the Civil War realistically? Yes. Is Lillie Ravenel the strong heroine described by the GoodReads description? No. She comes off as a bit silly, actually. Miss Ravenel's Conversion is less about Miss Ravenel's conversion and more about life during the Civil War (wait, I'm in the South...War of Northern Aggression) and domestic affairs at the time. The first half of the book was rather boring, being mostly about Lillie's friendship with two military men, the drinking, phila ...more
Bill FromPA
Aug 02, 2015 Bill FromPA rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
This 1867 novel has a lot to recommend it, but one major flaw which prevents any recommendation from being unqualified. Lillie Ravenel is a teenage girl from Louisiana, brought to the north by her loyalist father at the outbreak of the American Civil War. The author does not claim her to be “a first class beauty” but nevertheless she seems an object of attraction to almost every man who encounters her. Whatever charm she might posses does not communicate itself to the reader; Miss Ravenel comes ...more
Apr 24, 2012 Marley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful 19th century lost classic that nobody has ever heard of. I re-read the book last week, over 40 after I read it the first time, and it just blew me away. More than the first time. I have the 1955 edition with an introduction by the editor Gordon S. Haight. Haight places DeForest above Stephen Crane as a realistic writer--at least as far as war are concerned, and I think he's right. Although I love Crane's other work, I find Red Badge of Courage unreadable--and I've tried in 3 times. M ...more
This book is going to be a central feature of a dissertation chapter which makes it difficult to review. On one hand, this isn't exactly a fantastic novel that will keep a reader engaged and turning pages. On the other hand, it's a fascinating example of a Civil War soldier writing the war during the war, making sense of his experience, and trying to fit that into an established and marketable genre. The descriptions of invalids, battles, wounds, and childbirth are remarkable. Still, it was a co ...more
Aug 23, 2016 Humphrey rated it liked it
Miss Ravenel's Conversion has good moments: it is not a good novel. One wishes it were, but the fact is that the dull romance plot takes precedence over the war for much of its nearly-500 pages. The most interesting insight of the novel - that much of the war as experienced by soldiers was actually quite uneventful - is strong but often leads to further capitulation to the romance-plot. It's certainly sweeping in its scope, but much of the interesting breadth of the novel isn't covered with much ...more
Jun 04, 2011 MalibuLisa rated it really liked it
Just started this last night, but actually had a powerful vision of a book sprouting wings and flying away while reading chapter 1! I was thinking about context and how over time, context is lost more and more and that most books could disappear if the context is too far out of reach. Very horrifying idea indeed!
Sep 25, 2012 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! Written shortly after the time in which it takes place, the Civil War, by a participant in the war, this tale has history and action written in the classical style I love, but with few pretensions. I want to read more books by the author.
Mark Stephenson
Aug 13, 2012 Mark Stephenson rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist
Outstanding battle description by a talented writer who was actually on the scene of Civil War actions.
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John William De Forest was an American soldier and writer, best known for his Civil War novel "Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty."
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