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Lydia Bailey

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  282 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
A fascinating, thoroughly researched historical novel of Haiti and Africa, and the early United States, outlining Haitians battle for freedom seen through the eyes of one man. This 1947 outing features Albion Hamlin, who comes to Boston in 1800 to defend a man accused of violating the Alien and Sedition Act. In a whirlwind of action, Hamlin is jailed, then escapes to Haiti ...more
Hardcover, 488 pages
Published June 1947 by Doubleday Books (first published January 1st 1947)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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This story takes you on quite a ride. There is a romance within its pages but make no mistake - this is an adventure story. Lots of action and travel. The imagery is well crafted, and the characters are highly defined. At just over 600 pages, it's long but I had no problem staying with the story. Great ride!
Feb 03, 2016 Cyndi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, political
I saw a news story a few months ago about a man who had checked out this book about 60 years ago from his school library and found it. He did the right thing, and returned the book to the library. A cute piece for the evening news but when asked about the book, the man remembered it and said it was a good book so I decided to find it and read it myself. It is a good book.

Based on real events of the United States in Haiti and other parts of the world, the protagonist, Albion Hamlin, falls in lov
Dec 05, 2013 Duane rated it really liked it
This historical novel is set in Haiti during the mid 19th century when it was a French colony fighting for independence. The novel was well written but brutally descriptive with very violent scenes. Very compelling characters with a little romance thrown in made it an entertaining read. Thanks to my Grandmother, I have a copy of this 1947 publication on my bookshelf.
amazon descrip: The fledgling settlement at the mouth of the Cape Fear is menaced by pirates in this novel set in the early 1700s. Blackbeard, working out of his base on Ocracoke Island, hinders the overseas trade that Huguenot refugee Robert Fontaine hopes will bring prosperity to Carolina coast. Fontaine's daughter's courtship and marriage to the enterprising David Moray add a romantic element to the novel. The action moves back and forth between Europe and points in the New World. This is the ...more
Nov 09, 2010 Beakerkin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 24, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it
Kenneth Roberts is a memorable author.... he goes through enough detail and adds enough human story that the history and story stay with you. But Roberts has that writing magic to make it feel real, as if i was living it, so it stays with me.

We should understand the fate of the colonial-based colonies and how each struggled for independence and the perils. I don't ask myself questions about why Haiti has NO trees on it anymore, or why the poverty is seemingly unshakeable. Roberts helps you live
Bruce Nordstrom
I guess I have read this book about 20 times in my life. I love it. This is one of the big influences on my life. This book- or maybe I should say, "All the works of Kenneth Roberts,"- define what reading can be.

It is good, exciting reading. Amazingly researched, no matter where the characters go. Honest. Non-biased.

Just read it.
Jul 25, 2014 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Historical novel of Haiti and Tripoli on the African coast. Heavy reading, but history that took me right down into the trenches. Some disturbing characters, the Americans were not always the good guys.
Jan 25, 2015 Stephen rated it it was amazing
One of this author's very best novels about a young man who falls in love with a portrait and goes to Haiti to search for her. The setting is a civil war in Haiti. A wonderful romance.
Mike McAdam
Jul 21, 2014 Mike McAdam rated it it was amazing
What a great book! On the recommendation of my mother, I decided to read this book and I thought it was fantastic. It is very much about the revolution in Haiti but it is also a love story (kind of) set in that atmosphere. Great memorable characters - both good and bad - come and go and the plot is interesting, moves quickly, and is completely unpredictable. I enjoyed it so much, I am seeking out other books by Kenneth Roberts. Highly recommended.
This is also on loan to me from my sister-in-law! Excited to see where it takes me!
Jul 31, 2015 Patti added it
Shelves: abandoned
I could not get into this book and abandoned it. The copy I had was old and musty. Might have played a role in my dislike.
Georgia Hollrah
Jan 18, 2014 Georgia Hollrah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is an a wonderful book with adventure, romance, mystery and so much terrific historical information that one read is not enough. This is one of my top ten books of all time!
Sep 08, 2008 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction
Shelves: historicalnovel
Written in the late 1940s. Historical novel set during the revolution in Haiti in the mid 1800s and the Barbary Coast. Pirates and rebels and a hero and heroine. Seemed to be well researched.
Critics say it was too pat and romanticised, but that's why I like writers of that era. They tend to take the tough topics without flinching, (because they were used to war) then makes them end nice. Picked it up at the library on a whim simply because of the publication date.
Jul 04, 2014 Marilyn rated it really liked it
I read this book for the first time when I was in high school. How refreshing to go back now and read it with a more sophisticated knowledge of time and place. I loved it in high school, and with a deeper understanding, I still love it! It is a carefully researched historical fiction novel set in the early days of the United States with Haiti and the Barbary Coast as its major settings...a love story, yes, but really an adventure novel. "Oh my goo'ness me my!"
Dec 16, 2012 Jan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Someone not subject to nightmares.
This is historical fiction that takes place in New England, Haiti, Spain, and Arabia. There is romance, but mostly it's about war.
Maybe it's not one of this author's best. I loved his books, Northwest Passage, and The Lively Lady. This was far too gruesome and violent for my taste, but I suppose he was trying to stay historically correct. The book did make me run to my computer a number of times to Google characters. Some I found, some I didn't.
Jan 12, 2013 John rated it really liked it
This is historical fiction that takes place in New England, Haiti, Spain, and Arabia. There is romance, but mostly it's about war.
Maybe it's not one of this author's best, but it's very good. This was very gruesome and violent, but he was trying to stay historically correct. It was because of this revolution in Haiti that Napoleon was unable to attack the U.S. as he planned, leading to the Louisiana Purchase
Nathalie Nelson
Sep 26, 2009 Nathalie Nelson rated it it was amazing
I read this book when it first came out and I really enjoyed it. In fact I enjoyed it so much I read it twice. I had not known in such detail about the pirates of the Barbary coast. I learned by this book to enjoy Kenneth Roberts writing so much that I looked for books written by him after that.
Jeff Bland
Dec 25, 2013 Jeff Bland rated it really liked it
An excellent historical fiction. Haiti, Tripoli and American involvement in both. A compelling narrative of the times which was as apropos in 1947 (publish date) as it is today.
Mar 03, 2013 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Kenneth Roberts is an author known for his historical accuracy. I loved the insight into Haitian independence, and the Barbary War on the shores of north Africa in a story of romance and war.

I'm glad to have a copy of this book on my bookshelves.
Kris Jones
Nov 06, 2015 Kris Jones rated it it was amazing
Fantastic writing! Learned so much from the historical novel
Jan 13, 2010 Dorothy rated it really liked it
I had forgotten about this book, which I read in middle school, until events in Haiti called it to mind again. I loved it at the time I read it. I'm not sure how I would feel about it today.
Feb 24, 2013 JadedlilFecker marked it as to-read
Shelves: on-paperback
Have another cover for this, and will upload soon. :D I'm supposedly related to this historical figure; I'll have to dig into genealogy to figure all that out.
Mar 16, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Between the commentary on politics that's still relevant today, the completely relateable characters, and the swashbuckling adventure, this book is amazing.
Aug 27, 2008 Scottmangan rated it really liked it
A surprisingly good read, (though VERY politcally incorrect by today's standards). In interesting view from the '40s of colonial times.
Dec 05, 2008 Doreen rated it it was amazing
A good, and necessary, reminder that no country is infallible, not even America. Also, that people suck. Seriously, a great book.
Erika Eklund
I LOVED this book - rich with history and epic in scope. I was carried away and around the world with this one!
Aug 14, 2012 Kelley rated it it was amazing
Great adenture Love story AND enjoy learning a little about Haiti. Super book!
Dec 20, 2014 Rubi rated it did not like it
I found it somewhat boring and did not complete it
Shelley Lederman
Aug 22, 2013 Shelley Lederman rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite authors of historical fiction.
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Kenneth Lewis Roberts (December 8, 1885 – July 21, 1957) was an American author of historical novels. Roberts worked first as a journalist, becoming nationally known for his work with the Saturday Evening Post from 1919 to 1928, and then as a popular novelist. Born in Kennebunk, Maine, Roberts specialized in Regionalist historical fiction. He often wrote about his native state and its terrain, als ...more
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