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Betty Zane (The Ohio River Trilogy #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  585 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Zane Grey (1875-1939) graduated as a dentist from the University of Pennsylvania, but he failed in an attempt to build a practice in New York. In 1904, he published his first novel - "Betty Zane" - which was a historical novel set in the American Revolutionary War and based on the life of one of his ancestors.

He success as a writer was assured in 1912 when "Riders of the

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Paperback, 222 pages
Published November 9th 2006 by Hard Press (first published 1903)
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(showing 1-30 of 924)
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Wanda
After reading some science fiction from the 1930s, I was feeling nostalgic about the Zane Grey westerns that I read when I was in junior high and high school. They were part of my mother's collection and when I had finished all of hers, I began searching for more of Grey's novels. They are pretty formulaic. There is always a romance between a feisty, headstrong young woman and a man who doesn't feel worthy of her because he is "just" a cowboy or a frontiersman or whatever. This story is actually ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Zane Grey has fallen into a certain amount of "disfavor" in recent times as his stories aren't precisely PC. In other words the stories of conflict between the Indians/Native Americans and the settlers are told with sides being represented at times, but with the settlers presented as the good guys. Without the self flagellation over how bad the settling of the "new world" was the books get a thumbs down from some.

If we can move beyond that and accept the fact that it happened and that all the se
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Hannah
If you like old west this is the book for you. Betty Zane is a not so well known heroine of the Revolutionary War. I love the story of Betty Zane and so will you. She taught me to not be afraid of death. People may kill your body but they can't kill your soul. It was full of fun, suspense and very clean read. I gotta say I enjoyed it.

The Writing was Definantly good. It's not the horribly catchy can't-put-down-for-anything kind of writing, but there were no big noticable flaws. It's well-written
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Kimberly
One of the best things about being in a book club is that you are forced to read books that you wouldn't normally read. Naturally, this means that sometimes you are pleasantly surprised by a particular selection and sometimes the selection is a total dud that completely validates your reasons for never having wanted to pick it up in the first place. The cover on this edition alone would have been enough reason for me to not pick this book up. I know, I know, "Never judge a book by its cover," bu ...more
Nate
Got on a Zane Grey kick after reading "Riders of the Purple Sage," and picked this one up next on my wife's recommendation. While not up to the enormously high bar set by "Riders...," this was still a good book in its own right with an engaging cast of characters on the early Ohio frontier. Of the various cool characters roaming around, my favorite was Wetzel - the guy is such a badass he literally spends his time roaming around the woods hunting Indians. By himself. Crazy.

Considering this book
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Bobby
Regarding what others refer to as supposed "racism" in this 1903 novel, there is none of a malignant sort. A Eurocentric viewpoint was in keeping with the times and is rather benign here. Zane portrays a respectful and wary fascination and fear of the "Other" and of the untamed wilderness itself that the Indians represent. Keep in mind that settlers and natives were often (not always) enemies and were involved in centuries-long struggles in which the natives had the powerful upper hand until the ...more
Natalie
I first read this book as a little girl (from Ohio) :O) - it was one of my mother's books. I loved it so much I read it again, and again. This is the most often re-read book I own. I'm 32 years old and every once in awhile, I'll pull it back out and read it again. A great testement to a great novel to be re-read over and over again - cover to cover - over the years. It has everything, adventure, romance & historical reference.
Danzaiss
First of a trilogy, followed by Spirit of the Border and The Last Trail. More historical fiction than the typical western expected from the author.
Because it was written in 1903, a reader should expect racism aligned with the time. The author took a few liberties with the historical facts. All-in-all, a good read; it'd be 3 1/2 stars if I could give a half.
Rebecca
Fun! Mindless and easy frontier novel. Grey's characters are perfectly, hilariously, chaste and sexless. Of course all of the settlers have a fine eye, broad chest, and a stout heart. The villains are hard to miss (dirty, dark-minded).

What I found most interesting is that Zane Grey, a descendant, changes Betty's story a fair bit. In some internet accounts - including the Elizabeth Zane DAR! - they reprint Grey's version of events. But according to other sources (museums, academic papers), Betty
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Denise Barney
My dad encouraged me to read this book back when I was eight. "Betty Zane" was the first book I checked out from the Adult Section of the Westlake Branch of the Daly City Public Library and I needed Dad's permission.

Many years--and the Internet--later, I re-read the story of Betty and her race to save Ft. Henry. Since Betty is an ancestor of Mr. Gray, her life has been cleaned up, as has the life of the pioneers. Written in 1908, the book reflects the prejudice of the times: Native Americans are
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Claudia
Zane Grey's first novel, based on family lore. I have several gaping holes in my reading history, and westerns is one of the biggest. I have often asked people which Zane Grey novel I should start with, but I found this reprint in the book aisle at Target, and decided to start here.

Fort Henry, W. Virginia, one of the last battles of the Revolutionary War. White settlers IN the Fort; an assortment of Red Coats, turncoats, and Natives outside...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Grey's style is prett
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Ken Bickley
Zane Grey's style is a bit stilted for our time, but this 1902 story based on the life of his great-grandaunt is still a good one. It combines revolutionary war era history and adventure with a good romance to keep any reader interested. I recommend it to lovers of history as well as romance readers.
Maria
This book is classified as a western, but don't let that fool you. It IS a western in the sense that at the end of the 1800's Ohio constituted the western border of the American colonies. I was interested in this series because my ancestors lived at the same time and place and probably knew the characters (for they are historical figures) Grey writes about. But even if you don't have personal ties to the setting, this series is a worthwhile read for anyone. It is accurate in it's portrayal of th ...more
Katie
I really, really, really liked this book. It had romance, adeventure, humor, a love triangle, and great characters. It's a true story written by the heroine's great-grandson in 1903. Obviously, some of the material (like the dialouge) is left to the author's imagination. Because of the time it was written it has what we consider now, racial slurs about African-Americans, Native Americans and the British. It's a great story about the settling of the "west" right after the American Revolution. I l ...more
Johnny Bennett
Betty Zane is almost a four star book. It just didn't quite leave me craving more. But I'm happily reading more Zane Grey so it certainly scratched some itch.
Amy
I'm not really a fan of westerns, but I liked this book. It was hard to read about the terrible things that human beings did to each other, and I loved that Zane Grey tried to be fair to the Native Americans before the time of political correctness. They were still the very bad guys, but there was an attempt at least to understand their motives. And I actually liked how he portrayed women. Again, writing in a time when women were regarded as only the fairer sex, he gave the women in his story a ...more
Carole Moran
This is one of three books that Zane Grey wrote of the time, happenings, and actualy incidents that occurred in the lives of his ancestors who were pioneers into the Ohio wilderness. Ebenezer Zane was the founder of what is now Wheeling, West Virgina; Isaac Zane lent his name to current day Zanesville, Ohio. Betty Zane was a pioneer ancestress who enacted a brave part in frontier history. Grey's books are simplistic when compared to James Fennimore Cooper's novels set in the same time period, bu ...more
Peggy
May 17, 2014 Peggy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Peggy by: My mother
I'd forgotten I read this as a little girl. It might be fun to do a reread.
Andrea
Apr 26, 2014 Andrea added it
Shelves: owned-books
I seriously can not finish this...
John Glass
not my kind of thing any more, but i read dozens of theses as a young teen
Sonia
Unlike most of Grey's books, this one is set in the American Revolution in Fort Henry, West Virginia. It's an interesting twist to write a novel about the heroic adventures of your ancestors. I'm not sure if it is all fabrication or if Grey used historical documents passed on to him as inspiration. Most of the book contains "Indian fighting" with Chapter 6 also containing a treatise on the "noble" Indian and his doom brought on by the white settler and liquor.
Brenda
True Story about one of Author Zane Grey's ancestors. American frontier story. I loved this book as a child, and when someone found it for me, I was thrilled. It's a wonderful story about a young girl,
on the frontier and her bravery that saved Ft. Henry at the end of the Revolutionary War....It's as good as I remembered, maybe better!
JP
Grey's first novel involves his own family in the early frontier along the Ohio river. This historical fiction includes tales of Lewis Wetzel and several Zanes. The center of the work is Betty Zane, whose run for powder saved the fort during a siege by Indians and the British during the Revolutionary War.
Bill Jackman


I didn't like it much when I first read it 50 years ago. It was not any better this time. The main characters are too single faceted. It is not bad for a first book, but I am glad he made later characters be more complex, although none were ever very complex.
Nancye
I have started to enjoy Zane Grey books now that I can get them for free on the kindle. This one is about his great grandmother. She was a tough woman who had a major part in helping prevent the fort from being burned down by the Indians and British. Very fun read.
Jason
There is an engaging kernel of revolutionary America-era Frontier Fort life that is unfortunately surrounded by the chafing chaff of a treacly harlequin-esque romance. Grey fares better in the sequel, SPIRIT OF THE BORDER, by dropping most of the romance.
Andria
Betty Zane is an extremely descriptive novel about life on the frontier and the danger that ensued its settlers. Zane Grey wrote a heartwarming story about his aunt and her courage to help during a siege by Indians on Fort Henry.
Dianna
More Frontier than Western, I LOVE Betty Zane. Grew up reading this series by Zane Grey about his ancestor, Lewis Wetzel is my hero :) With lots of action and descriptive passages of the frontier, a MUST READ in my eyes!
Pammy
It's good reading as a near-biography, but darn right painful as a novel. But hey--it was his first attempt! I have relatives that lived in this same region in the same period of time, so it was perfect for my needs.
Puffer T
There are a lot of Zane Grey books on that darn shelf at the library. It will take me forever to read em all...I am writing this with a cowboy accent.....yee haw!
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18134
Pearl Zane Grey was an American author best known for his popular adventure novels and stories that presented an idealized image of the rugged Old West. As of June 2007, the Internet Movie Database credits Grey with 110 films, one TV episode, and a series, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater based loosely on his novels and short stories.
More about Zane Grey...
Riders of the Purple Sage The Last Trail The Lone Star Ranger The Rainbow Trail The Spirit of the Border

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“He saw his enemies stealthily darting from rock to tree, and tree to bush, creeping through the brush, and slipping closer and closer every moment. On three sides were his hated foes and on the remaining side—the abyss. Without a moment's hesitation the intrepid Major spurred his horse at the precipice. Never shall I forget that thrilling moment. The three hundred savages were silent as they realized the Major's intention. Those in the fort watched with staring eyes. A few bounds and the noble steed reared high on his hind legs. Outlined by the clear blue sky the magnificent animal stood for one brief instant, his black mane flying in the wind, his head thrown up and his front hoofs pawing the air like Marcus Curtius' mailed steed of old, and then down with a crash, a cloud of dust, and the crackling of pine limbs.” 0 likes
“He stalked into the room, leaned his long rifle against the mantelpiece and spread out his hands to the fire. He was clad from head to foot in fringed and beaded buckskin, which showed evidence of a long and arduous tramp. It was torn and wet and covered with mud. He was a magnificently made man, six feet in height, and stood straight as an arrow. His wide shoulders, and his muscular, though not heavy, limbs denoted wonderful strength and activity. His long hair, black as a raven's wing, hung far down his shoulders. Presently he turned and the light shone on a remarkable face. So calm and cold and stern it was that it seemed chiselled out of marble. The most striking features were its unusual pallor, and the eyes, which were coal black, and piercing as the dagger's point.” 0 likes
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