Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Celia Garth” as Want to Read:
Celia Garth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Celia Garth

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  3,057 ratings  ·  327 reviews
This is a story about a girl who wanted things to happen to her.

Celia Garth lived in Charleston, South Carolina, during the American Revolution. She had blond hair and brown eyes and a sassy face, and she worked in a fashionable dressmaking shop.

Things did happen to Celia, but not as she had planned. The king's army captured Charleston. The ravisher Tarleton swept through
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 1959 by Thomas Crowell Co. (first published 1959)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Celia Garth, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Celia Garth

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,057 ratings  ·  327 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Rosina Lippi
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wrote the introduction for this edition of Celia Garth, but it appears under my pen name, Sara Donati. And here it is:

At age thirteen I discovered historical fiction by means of Gwen Bristow's Jubilee Trail, and with that began a life long preoccupation with stories set in the past.
By the time I was seventeen I had read hundreds of novels about civil wars (British and American), the Revolution, the Anglo-Saxons and the Norman Invasion, ancient Rome and Greece.
I considered myself something of
In Celia Garth, Gwen Bristow cleverly draws the reader in what seems to be a lightweight, comedic tale, with a ditzy, silly, social-climbing, young heroine who made me think at first this was gonna be a Becky Sharp doppelganger. Then, lo and behold, we are plunged into the horror, the real horror of war. From the siege of Charleston by British forces, to their savage plunder of nearby plantations, and persecution of those who were perceived as less than loyal to the King, after their initial vic ...more
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: American Revolution fans
Recommended to Tweety by: Misfit
Celia Garth, was fabulous.

I mean, really. It was the perfect gloomy day read.

I liked how Celia grew from a young twenty year old to a mature young woman. She went from thinking the war was dull since she couldn't see it to thinking it was a horrible thing. She learned that it was possible to love two men, and that sometimes what you think you want isn't really it.

Jimmy was a tall, lanky and ugly captain of the revolution. He was so kind to Celia, helping her catch her dreams and watching out
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: junior high and up
Shelves: 2012
This book is what all historical fiction ought to be - accurate historic facts and a gripping story line of fictional characters. I enjoyed it so much, I plan on purchasing the book so it can be read again! It's a great companion to "Johnny Tremain" because in that book you have a male hero right in the middle of all the action, but in "Celia Garth" you have a female hero on the outskirts of it. I love getting the two perspectives.

Celia Garth, the main character, is a naive girl working as an a
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the tale of Celia Garth, a 20 year old woman trying to make a living as a seamstress in Charleston, South Carolina during the Revolutionary war. The author does a great job of setting up the scenes of the town and plantations, and the history of the time. We follow Celia and her friends through the seige of Charleston by the British, living through the constant shelling and lack of food until the final surrender.

At first, things seem normal after the surrender and Celia begins to build
Diane Lynn
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story set during the American Revolution. Celia Garth lives in Charleston and works as a seamstress. She experiences the Revolutionary War and even plays a part. The descriptions of the area are very well done. I did have one minor nitpick, I've never known Carolina Jessamine to be in full bloom in June. Had the author said anytime between December and March, I wouldn't have had a quibble. Other than that, Gwen Bristow can sure tell a great story. I absolutely love her writing.
1) The jacket flap gives away the plot. Don't read the whole thing!
2) This is a story about war. There are horrific acts of violence that appear as part of the plot. You can't skip it because the whole plot depends on it. The war action is told rather than shown, but it's told in enough gruesome detail to be a textbook, similar to An Infamous Army.

Plot summary without spoilers

Celia Garth is young, pretty and bored to death working as an apprentice seamstress in Charleston, South Carolin
Fred Shaw
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you would like to know what the antebellum south was like, read this story of Charleston, SC. It’s 1779 and America is fighting for its freedom. The British invade Charleston Harbor and overwhelm the American fighters. Charleston surrenders. Meanwhile a guerrilla fighter is wreaking havok on the British supply lines in other parts of the state. His name is Francis Marion and his nickname is the “Swamp Fox”. Marion and his marauders hit the enemy, do their damage and melt away into the swamp. ...more
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was such a comfort read for me - quick and easy historical fiction set in Charleston during the American Revolution with strong, lovable characters and a good storyline. That is a perfect read for me. Celia Garth is a strong, independent young woman who lost both parents as a child and lived with her uncle and his family who although in the planter class struggled a bit. When the family begins to try to marry her off she turns to her talents as a seamstress and she secures a place with a we ...more
Amy S
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Celia Garth is a young and pretty girl who works in a dressmaker's shop in Charleston. Although the Revolutionary War is being fought, Celia really doesn't care as it doesn't seem to affect her life much. She only knows she wants adventure and fun.

But when the British invade Charleston and her life is changed forever, Celia finds out what she is really made of and what she really cares about. She is forced to grow and change through times of devastating loss and true joy. She finds courage as a
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I've been meaning to read a Gwen Bristow novel for quite some time. The novel was a lighter read than I had expected, some parts a little predictable, but I still found it very enjoyable. Celia was a bright character that has to overcome a lot in a time of war and you find yourself rooting for her. There isn't a whole lot of adult historical fiction set during the Revolutionary War which made this a unique experience. I would recommend this to historical fiction fans!
Anne - Books of My Heart
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 

This is the first historical romance I remember and a favorite of mine in my teen years. I own an original hardcover copy. I bought the ebook and now I have listened to the new audio release. It is a very long time since I read Celia Garth, so it was shocking to me how clearly I remembered eve
Ashley Perham
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had read most of this book a long time ago, but I never finished it! As I started to read it again, I wondered why I had liked it so much. The writing was a little choppy, and Celia was questionable. But then Luke walked through the door... And the book got a billion times better. Well maybe he's not that great, but he's pretty awesome.

I loved this book for so many reasons. One of them is Francis Marion. We watched the Disneyland Swamp Fox miniseries a while back, and I fell in love with the
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books
Can I just tell you how much I like Gwen Bristow's books? She just has the best -let me wrap my arm around you and tell you a great story that you are just gonna love- style. Her characters are always flawed and honestly, it just makes you like them all the more. She does a great job with her historical research and I really felt like I was getting a true taste for colonial life. I loved how instead of just getting the dates and times you got a chunk of someone's life and saw that at times war w ...more
Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I gave this a 5 star review because the story really gave me a sense of being in Charleston during the war and really getting an understanding of the times. The story is well-written and I enjoyed the characters as well. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
Ruth Chatlien
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the first books to make me love historical fiction, and I so enjoyed reading it again. I loved the characterization of Celia and the portrayal of the time period just as much as I first did forty-some years ago.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly good historical fiction account of a young girl in Charleston SC during the American Revolution. When you first meet Celia she is a naive 20 year old girl working in a dressmakers shop in fashionable Charleston. Her biggest current problem is whether she will be asked to stay on at the shop or become one who has to be taken care of as a "poor relation." The ongoing war is very much in the background of her life although it is very evident all around her. As the war draws nearer to ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gwen Bristow was recommended to me by a reader of “older” books, knowing that I enjoy historical fiction. This particular one was written in late 1950’s. I have had several of her books on my “to read” shelf for a few years, and I pushed myself to read this one due to a trip to Charleston. Celia Garth is set there, and it was the perfect before/during read! Set during the Revolutionary War, I felt I not only learned about Charleston but also about a small part of the War of independence from Bri ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Celia’s story. She grows from a silly young woman to a woman who is willing to stand and fight in her own way. I liked Jimmy and Luke and Vivian. The setting is Charleston, SC during the Revolutionary war. The book was originally published in 1959 and I’m not sure how I missed reading this when I was younger. I look forward to reading more of Gwen Bristow’s Books.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I had known how great this book was, I would've read it sooner! It's a little Gone-With-The-Wind-esque.
I first read this while in 8th grade. It was then, as now, a stirring story of the American Revolution set in Charleston, SC. I loved, loved, loved all the historical details and spent an afternoon recently tracing Celia’s path along Lamboll, Meeting, and Tradd Streets in Charleston. Saint Michael’s Church is still there with its bells chiming every quarter hour. Gwen Bristow wrote this book in 1959, before the civil rights movement. She does not adequately address the issue of slavery. The slav ...more
Margaret Boling
It's always interesting to go back and re-read books one read as a child/teen, as is the case with this book. This is the first book where I learned about the Swamp Fox (Frances Marion) and Revolutionary War in the South. I was struck by the fast pace of the book during the siege of Charleston (or Charles Town as one character wrote). The author definitely knew how to keep my interest when describing Tarleton's raids, the hardships of Marion's swamp rats, and the tension of those on plantations ...more
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picking up this book again was like reuniting with an old friend. I first happened upon this book as a teenager as I roamed the shelves of my local library. After that, I returned often to check it out again and again. What can I say, I'm a sucker for historical novels, especially that involve women and more especially with a little romance.
In my current city, the local library only has 1 copy of ANY book by Gwen Bristow and that is truly a shame. I just finished reading "Thes is My Words" by N
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-borrowed
I was intrigued to read this book because one of my favorite authors Sara Donati recommended it as an influential book that brought her to historical fiction. I am not going to write a summary of the book because the Goodreads description basically gives us the entire plot. As we can also see, Celia Garth is praised by many reviewers who have held dearly onto this little book and hold great memories of it.
I am sorry to say that my expectations fell short because I wasn't really swept away by
Karen Hartshorn
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Karen by: Book group
This was a good book. I have seen reviews comparing it to Gone With the Wind but for the American Revolution. I guess that kind of works. It was not so well developed as GWTW but I like the characters much better. I didn't spend most of the book wanting to thottle Cilia. She started out young and immature but she grows up. She is able to make the transition to wife and mother unlike the spoiled brat in the other book. I really liked the second half the best though. The first half was kind of slo ...more
Jun 20, 2009 rated it liked it
This book took forever for me to get through. I usually really enjoy romantic historical fiction, but for some reason this book was soooo slow. I kind of felt like the first half of this book was too cheerful, too wholesome, too "Leave it to Beaver", too artificial in some way. I felt like the characters in the book were plastic. Finally about half way or so, the book got real for me. I enjoyed the last 1/3 of the book, but that did not make up for the syrupy first half. All in all, it was good, ...more
Mary Anne
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was the first novel I ever read. I was around 12 years old and I'll never forget the experience. It's historical fiction set in Charleston, SC during the American Revolution. And it's a romance. What more could an adolescent girl want. I went on to read every book written by Gwen Bristow and perhaps this is where my love of history began. These books are light but very interesting and gentle by today's standards. I would be comfortable recommending them to any parent for their daughters.
I don't know if I would have eventually found this book anyway but it was in the library of the girls' school I attended in junior high, and I fell in love with it immediately although previously had not been much of an American History fan, other than Elswyth Thane. It is still a book that is wonderful to reread! Bristow's writing style has a lot of similarities to Frances Parkinson Keyes' but I think is warmer and less mannered, thus has not become as dated over the years.
Jan 19, 2009 added it
I enjoyed this book, as it showed a side of the Revolutionary War I had never known anything about. Celia Garth helps the Continental forces by spying for their cause working in a Tory dress shop in Charleston.

I enjoy Gwen Bristow, and while not as "meaty" as Jubilee Trail or Calico Palace, it is nonetheless a good read.
Anne - Books of My Heart
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I read this in high school and it is my favorite, maybe the only, historical romance that I like. It is set in the Revolutionary War which is a particular favorite of mine and the heroine is a seamstress, which I love sewing. It has many favorable attributes.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Tory Widow (Anne Merrick, #1)
  • A Catch of Consequence
  • Dawn's Early Light (Williamsburg #1)
  • Shadowbrook
  • Wintercombe (Wintercombe, #1)
  • Paper Woman (A Mystery of the American Revolution #1)
  • My Theodosia
  • The Rebellion of Jane Clarke
  • The Turncoat (Renegades of the Revolution)
  • Oh, Kentucky!
  • Cast Two Shadows: The American Revolution in the South
  • Tied to the Tracks
  • Just Jane: A Daughter of England Caught in the Struggle of the American Revolution
  • Roselynde (The Roselynde Chronicles, #1)
  • The Marsh King's Daughter
See similar books…
American author and journalist. She studied at Columbia University and afterwards wrote for a number of literary magazines and journals. Eventually she moved to New Orleans, and worked at the Times-Picayune. She became interested in longer forms of writing—novels and short stories—through her husband, screenwriter Bruce Manning, and published her first novel in 1929.

Bristow reached the pinnacle o
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“I’m not really beautiful,’ she said to herself, ‘but tonight I feel beautiful. And I look like a girl who feels beautiful.' (84)” 14 likes
“Everybody has lonely places” 2 likes
More quotes…