A new Margaret Lawrence: whooopeee!

Pam’s comment yesterday made me think about trying to sort through the many ways historical fiction weaves historical personages together with fictional ones. So I started to take some notes on the subject, and as a part of that I first looked up Margaret Lawrence’s novels  about a midwife in late 18th century Maine. The premise for her stories about Hannah Trevor  is based loosely on the diary of Martha Ballard, the subject of one of my favorite historical studies of all time. The whole diary (searchable, with lots of useful tools) is online, and more than worth a visit if you’re interested in early American history.

I truly admire and often return to Hearts and Bones and the three novels that follow. The first three  deal with Hannah while the last one focuses on her daughter Jennet.  They are all out of print, I fear, but there’s the library. Never forget the library.

[asa book]0385342373[/asa] Now here’s the great thing. When I went to look up the status of Hearts and Bones, I discovered that Margaret Lawrence has (1) a website, finally; and even better (2) a new novel out. Whooopeee! Roanoke is another historical mystery. I’ll let Ms Lawrence tell you about it herself:

The Lost Colony of Roanoke is one of the world’s great puzzles. After two earlier exploring voyages and the building of a fort, three English ships set sail for America in the spring of 1587, carrying a hundred and seventeen English settlers, along with a number of spies, a crew of pirates, and orders to find the gold and pearls belonging to the native tribes along what is now the coast of North Carolina. The war with Spain intervened and England had the Armada to worry about. By 1590, when a supply ship was finally sent out, the English colonists had all vanished, leaving only a few ruins and the name of a local island carved on a tree.  (Read the whole description here.)

Five minutes after I found this, Roanoke was residing in the belly of my Kindle, where it now waits for me to finish Mr. Timothy.  Five minutes after that, I had contacted a bookseller about a signed first edition. I have all her historical novels in hardcover, all signed. So you see, I haven’t given up on the traditional book, either.

I’ll be back with a review of this at some point in the not too distant future. Between now and the time I finish Roanoke, you might not be hearing much from me.

5 Replies to “A new Margaret Lawrence: whooopeee!”

  1. These books sound wonderful – I’ve never heard of Margaret Lawrence before but she sounds right up my alley. I’ll read her to tie me over until “Endless Forest”!! Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. I have seen Roanoke on Book store shelves recently, and knew it was a fairly new book, but had not yet got around to investigating it. I will now though, thank you Rosina. it is now on my list of “must haves”

  3. Looks like one I would really enjoy. I just requested it from the library! Thank you for the suggestion!

  4. OK – I’m such a crazy canuck, I thought you meant Margaret Laurence. But she of The Diviners and The Stone Angel is no longer with us. Unlikely to produce a new novel. Although in my head I was thinking of a lost novel or something. Could that be another genre? “Lost” novels of authors long gone? Sort of like how they discover new paintings by old masters, only to find they’ve been faked professionally. Well. Something else to think about. And yes, this Margaret Lawrence sounds fabulously readable.

  5. I just bought this one this week, the first chapter sucked me in at the bookstore. I am looking forward to your review of it!

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