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Betty Zane, with eBook

(The Ohio River Trilogy #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,224 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Betty Zane is the story of the first settlers in the Ohio Valley and their fight for survival during the Revolutionary War. The British have organized and incited the various eastern tribes to attack American "Rebels" in this lesser-known theater of the war.

Betty is a fiery beauty whose quest for romance with Alfred Clarke is interrupted time and again by Indian raids an
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published April 27th 2009 by Tantor Media (first published 1903)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
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
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
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
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first novel of the prolific writer of (mostly) Westerns is not a Western, per se, but a frontier novel set in the Virginia-Ohio area, a novel based on historical references and family traditions from Grey's own family. It concerns the titular Betty Zane, a real-life antecedent of Grey's, who with her family fought the Indian and British forces trying to wipe out the revolutionary colonists on the then-western edge of American "civilization." The story takes place largely in 1782 and tells re ...more
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
Mustang USMC
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Make no mistake, this book is a classic. Gray, an artist in every sense strives to tell the story of his ancestors, and he accomplishes this as only Zane Gray can.
It's difficult to know how to rate this book, so I chose the middle ground. It is interesting, dramatic, well-written, and as far as I know, based on historical fact. It is also so darned racist that it was often hard to read, as the author continuously refers to the indigenous population as redskins and murdering savages. However, I don't believe in revisionist history, and this is clearly how the early settlers (very early, in this case -- in the 1700s they were still trying to establish a foo ...more
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was totally different to what I normally read, but despite its slightly different style (the first book by this author and written in 1903) it definitely worked for me and really enjoyed it. It is even more interesting as in this book Betty Zane was one of his antecedents. There are two other books in the Frontier trilogy and have downloaded them from Amazon. All 3 books are free as copyright has expired. If you want something different with a great female lead who was ahead of her tim ...more
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No political correctness here. It makes you appreciate how far we have come as a society in respecting and appreciating other races and cultures. The story is interesting, but the style of writing is very dramatic and romantic. Also, the story, at least the love-interest part, is historically inaccurate.
Amy "the book-bat"
Interesting look at Ohio and West Virginia history. I think I was particularly interested because I live in the area the book was set in.
Hollie D
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Enjoyable historical novel about Fort Henry and the lesser known heroine of the Revolutionary War, Betty Zane. We listened to this and thoroughly enjoyed it.

My favorite aspect of this novel is the authentic portrayals of manliness and womanliness. This is my favorite quote from the book:
"In the silence which ensued after these words the men looked at each other with slowly whitening faces. There was no need of words. Their eyes told one another what was coming. The fate which had overtaken so
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this action packed book about Betty Zane. This is loosely based on actual events, and it is written extremely well, as are all of Zane's books. Each of his books is a learning experience for me. The strong characters inspire me to emulate them in many cases.
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
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. ...more
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.
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Fine old west story representing the time the old west was West Virginia. This isn’t a cowboy story, it’s a Revolutionary War patriot story. The background of the book is interesting, in that Betty Zane, a real life hero in one of the last battles in the Revolutionary War is an ancestor of Zane Grey, the author of this book. Grey introduces this background in the beginning of this audiobook.

I was also impressed, as I have been in the past, that Grey’s book doesn’t seem to have aged badly. If so
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Betty Zane, a fictionalized narrative of an ancestor who heroically saved Fort Henry in 1782, was one of Zane Grey's first attempts at writing, and, in fact, his first novel. He accomplished this feat using the pattern he studied from Owen Wister's The Virginian. This is the first novel of a historical trilogy that begins with Betty Zane, and continues on with Spirit of the Border, a story of the Indian Fighter, Lewis Wetzel, and concludes in The Last Trail, a narrative of the life of Jonathan Z ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, I really enjoy Zane Grey. The Indians [Native Americans] and the settlers / soldiers / hunters are authentic. What the reader will appreciate is that there were no good or bad settlers, nor were there good or bad Indians -- as a Group. There were repeated attempts on both sides to reach peace agreements and repeated attempts to get along, but history dictates what really happened.

As to Betty, Grey describes her as the real deal. A pretty young woman who is attracted by men. And they a
Matt Kelland
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
I always had a fondness for Zane Grey when I was younger, so I was happy to find this copy of his first novel. It was astonishing to realize that it's actually based on the true story of one of his ancestors.

The reality is, it's not very good. It's okay, but it lacks the sweeping power of books like Riders of the Purple Sage. The characters are often irritating in their primness, and it takes forever to get to the main part of the story, the siege where Betty saves the fort. And Grey really str
I'm not sure I'd call this a western since it takes place in Ohio, but compared to Virginia, where some of the characters were born, yep, it's a western.
Also it was written in 1903. That presents problems as to some of the word choices (the N-word) and situations (with Native Americans). Maybe they were true, but of course, this book is written from the white man-s viewpoint.
It is very melodramatic (partially due to the narrator, partially the writing). I was just waiting for fair Betty to be ti
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book mostly out of curiosity and to give me something to gauge future Zane Grey books I read against. The story and writing was probably very true to its time, but there is quite a bit of racist and sexist language in this. Betty is the herione of the book, but she is made to be overly emotional and unable to think clearly when handsome men are around. In addition, I listened to this through our libraries OverDrive system, and I was really disappointed that the male reader couldn ...more
Jim Fulner
I also didn't like this audio book. Granted it did what I needed it to do, provide as a relief during my endless audio books on how to get more money, but that's all it did good. returnreturnIt sounded great, like an old western but telled from the girls perspective. Well Apparently that means following around some lady who wants every man to want to marry her, but if they try to, she acts like she's returnoffended.returnreturnIT did start out interesting with perspectives on the Indians that di ...more
Richard Koerner
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly enjoyable read, particularly so since I am originally from Ohio and went to school in the southeastern portion. The Ohio River and Wheeling are well known to me. I enjoyed the fact that this book was based on the family of Zane Grey. I was not expecting to enjoy this first book of the e-book collection I bought, but it was a nice, easy read. I find the life depicted on the frontier and the views of the British, the native Americans, and the settlers fascinating as well as the intera ...more
Randy Tramp
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in the Ohio Valley in the early 19th century, tells the story of the early American settlers of the area as they struggle to settle the land and of their clashes with the Indians.
Betty Zane, a fictionalized narrative of an ancestor who heroically saved Fort Henry in 1782, was Zane Grey's first novel. He accomplished this feat using the pattern he studied from Owen Wister's The Virginian.
Descriptions put me into the story. I could feel the cold rain. The warm fireplace. A fast-running creek.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
I have read a lot of Zane Grey as well as other western writers, and he is still my favorite of those. He always has just a bit of romance in an otherwise rough life of the west. This story is about the Zane family, notably Isaac Zane and his Indian wife as well as Johnathon Zane and Lew Wetzel, but the book was probably named after Betty who made a brave foot run to get gun powder during their siege.
A great read.
I was expecting a historical novel about Betty Zane, but instead got a romance novel. The language is very flowery and love is always in the air. One of the reasons I like historical novels is that it is a memorable way to learn, but if Wikipedia is to be believed, very few of the details of the novel are based on facts. I look forward to our book club discussion, to be held at the local historical society.
Peg Lotvin
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zane Grey's first novel. Situated on the Ohio River in what became Wheeling, West Virginia is a little enclave of pioneers scratching out a living while nervously holding off the Indians of the region. Betty Zane is the only sister among several brothers, but she is as brave and as spirited as any of the men. Of course she finds true love among the handsome men at the fort but the descriptions of life and the natural world around them is the best part of the story.
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It had romance, adventure, and interesting characters. Loosely based on a true story of the author’s ancestors during the pre-revolutionary and revolutionary war time, I found the author’s style and descriptions enjoyable to read. Published in 1903, there is no political correctness. I believe the writing was probably very true to its time. There is quite a bit of racist and sexist language throughout. It makes me happy to see how far we have come since then.
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
Mike Mackey
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was more of a history than an adventure! That is not to say it was not exciting!! The story of pioneer life of Mr. Zane Gray's relations was very good exciting the Roll Betty Zane played in saving the Fort was a wonderful Tale. If you like the Older style of writing then you will love this book!!! Enjoy it is a great Read!!!
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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.

Other books in the series

The Ohio River Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Spirit of the Border
  • The Last Trail

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