In this Book

summary
Once deemed "the most powerful man in the South," Charleston newspaper editor Frank Dawson met his violent death on March 12, 1889, at the hands of his neighbor, a disreputable doctor who was attempting to seduce the Dawson family governess. Drawn from events surrounding this infamous episode, the third novel from the Lillian Smith Award-winning William Baldwin pulls back the veil of a genteel society in a fabled southern city and exposes a dark visage of anger and secret pain that no amount of imposed manners could restrain, and only love might eventually heal. With a southern storyteller's passion for intricate emotional and physical details, Baldwin, through the fictional guise of Capt. David Lawton, chronicles editor Dawson's fated end. Having survived three years of bloody Civil War combat and the decade of violent Reconstruction that followed, the liberal-minded Lawton is now an embattled newspaperman whose national importance is on the wane. Still, he remains a celebrated member of Charleston's elite, while in private life moving amid a pantheon of proud and beautiful women—Sarah, his brilliant wife; Abbie, his sensual sister-in-law; Mary, the all-knowing prostitute; and Hélène, the discontented Swiss governess—each contributing to an unfolding drama of history-haunted turmoil. Though Lawton loathes the South's cult of personal violence, by the customs of his era and place he is duty-bound to protect his household. Unable to act otherwise, Lawton meets his rival in a brutal physical contest, and in the aftermath, Sarah, Abbie, Mary, and Hélène must make peace with their own turbulent pasts. War, earthquake, political guile, adultery, illegitimacy, lust, and murder—all the devices of gothic romance—play a role in this tale closely based on the lives of Charlestonians who lived these events over a century ago.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. v-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. An Introduction
  2. pp. 1-2
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter One
  2. pp. 3-17
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Two
  2. pp. 18-26
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Three
  2. pp. 27-59
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Four
  2. pp. 60-68
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Five
  2. pp. 69-74
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Six
  2. pp. 75-80
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Seven
  2. pp. 81-86
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Eight
  2. pp. 87-91
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Nine
  2. pp. 92-104
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Ten
  2. pp. 105-113
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Eleven
  2. pp. 114-121
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Twelve
  2. pp. 122-126
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Thirteen
  2. pp. 127-129
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Fourteen
  2. pp. 130-148
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Fifteen
  2. pp. 149-166
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Sixteen
  2. pp. 167-176
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Seventeen
  2. pp. 177-177
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Eighteen
  2. pp. 178-185
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Nineteen
  2. pp. 186-188
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Twenty
  2. pp. 189-189
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Twenty-One
  2. pp. 190-199
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. An Afterword
  2. pp. 200-204
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

ISBN
9781611175585
Related ISBN
9781570036026
MARC Record
OCLC
890146406
Pages
216
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.