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Betty Zane (The Ohio River Trilogy #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  945 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
Inspired by the life and adventures of his own great-great grandmother, Betty Zane was Zane Grey's first novel and launched his career as a master writer of rousing frontier and Western adventures.

Betty Zane is the story of the events culminating in the last battle of the American Revolution, when two hundred Redcoats from British-controlled Detroit along with four hundred
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 15th 1993 by Tor Books (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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!!!
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
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zane Grey hits a home run with his frontier novels this one of three and this is one of his best. It is part of his family history and history of the early frontier. I consider it a most read. Find out about Ebenezer Zane,Betty Zane,and Louis Wetzel. Zanesville , Ohio is named for the Zane family.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book based on facts and memoirs about Zane Greys ancestor and how her courage may have had a hand in turning the Revolutionary War to the colonists favor.
PennyPayne Shepherd
There is not 222 pages in this book there is 290
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved this more true to life story of life on the frontier
Denise Barney
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Loved it!
I have never read a western, only seen them on TV :) So I decided to pick up one of the premier authors of Westerns and start at the beginning, the first book he wrote. Lo and behold, we are not really having a Western here, but a historical novel placed in the 18th century and the Revolutionary War on the Frontier, which was then Ft. Henry, later to become Wheeling, WV.

Zane Grey tells us the fictionalized story of his great aunt Betty, who is still remembered today as a Revolutionary
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The style of writing is so beautiful! It's like looking at a gorgeous painting in a museum and you can't take your eyes off it! Love, love, love his writing style.

With that said, I don't like reading books with people's names for titles. I don't know why. Especially women's names. It's an odd thing and I'm missing out on some great classics ("Rebecca" comes to mind). But I finally decided to read Betty Zane because Zane Grey is known for westerns and i am a fan of western stories. The first pag
Cat Fithian
Fascinating bit of history, highly romanticized. This book, written over 100 years ago, tells as much about the early 20th century and it's views of women/men/Indians as it tells of the history of the Ohio Valley and Fort Henry. Betty Zane was a strong frontier woman who lived successfully in a man's world. The frontier was wild, harsh and challenging, and by historical accounts Betty was up to the challenges. The book tells of a beautiful (she may well have been), talented (she definitely was), ...more
Dec 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good story, but the language was clearly old, written so many years ago that the dialog was terrible. I'm grateful that writing has changed. It just seemed S tilted and unrealistic.
The narrator wasn't bad, it was mostly the dialog in conversations that was strange...
Example "I wonder if she ever cared. I wonder if she ever thinks of me. Shall I accept that incident as happy augury? Well, I am here to find out and find out I will. Aha! There goes the Church bell."

This must have been the way
May 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Carole Moran
Sep 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
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
Tracy Drane
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes historical fiction and those who live in the Ohio valley.
Slight spoiler, but not really.

Nice story of Col. Zane's sister Elizabeth. Part love story, part adventure, the story lags some but is still well written and interesting. I love Betty's spunk and bravery, which are abounding in all things but love. Isn't that the way it usually is? Although it's based on a true story and real people, it is highly dramatized and details were heavily changed. The real Betty was married twice, and had a child before her first marriage to Ephraim McLaughlin with wh
Oct 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Gerald Matzke
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a little different from the other Zane Grey stories that I have read. This was more of a work of historical fiction centered on the trials and heroism of Betty Zane, the sister of Col. Ebenezer Zane. Because of his successful defense of Ft. Henry, he was given several other plots of land including what would become Zanesville. The courtship of Betty by several suitors was woven throughout the story that reached its climax with a battle against the British and the Indians. Betty's heroic ...more
Aug 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Old Zane Grey Books 2 5 Feb 16, 2016 08:11PM  
  • The Seventh Man
  • Long Ride Home
  • Rebel Spurs
  • The Wilderness War
  • The Mercenary's Marriage
  • Down the Yukon
  • Sagebrush
  • The Log of a Cowboy: A Narrative of the Old Trail Days
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...

Other Books in the Series

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

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“But what can women do in times of war? They help, they cheer, they inspire, and if their cause is lost they must accept death or worse. Few women have the courage for self-destruction. "To the victor belong the spoils," and women have ever been the spoils of war.” 3 likes
“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.” 2 likes
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