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The Touchstone of Fortune   By: (1856-1913)

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In Charles Major's historical novel, The Touchstone of Fortune, readers are transported back to the 18th century to witness a tale of adventure, romance, and political intrigue. Set against the backdrop of the American Revolutionary War, this captivating story follows the life of protagonist Philip Wheaton as he navigates the complexities of loyalty, duty, and love.

From the very first page, Major's writing effortlessly immerses the reader in the time period, portraying the harsh realities faced by both soldiers and civilians during the war. The author's meticulous attention to historical detail is evident throughout, painting a vivid picture of the era's social, political, and economic landscape. It is clear that Major has done extensive research, as the narrative seamlessly incorporates real events and figures, bringing an air of authenticity to the story.

What truly sets The Touchstone of Fortune apart, however, is Major's skillful characterization. Philip Wheaton, the protagonist, is compelling and multifaceted, daringly confronting the moral dilemmas the war presents. As he becomes embroiled in a dangerous spy ring, readers are taken on a thrilling journey where alliances shift and loyalties are tested.

Moreover, the book abounds with strong, well-developed secondary characters who add depth and richness to the story. Whether it be the fiercely independent and intelligent love interest, Dorothy Vernon, or the enigmatic Major Benedict Arnold, each character contributes to the intricate web of conflicts and complexities that make up the plot.

Major's prose is elegant and evocative, effortlessly capturing the emotions, struggles, and triumphs of the characters. The narrative flows seamlessly, keeping the reader engaged from page to page. The novel's pacing is impeccably balanced, combining moments of intense action and suspense with contemplative introspection.

In addition to the compelling storytelling, The Touchstone of Fortune also raises thought-provoking questions about honor, sacrifice, and the true meaning of freedom. Through his characters, Major explores the profound impact that personal choices can have on the course of history.

While The Touchstone of Fortune is undoubtedly a thrilling and captivating read, it is not without its flaws. At certain points, the intricate plot becomes slightly convoluted, and readers may find themselves needing to retrace their steps to fully grasp the complex web of alliances and allegiances. However, this minor drawback does not overshadow the overall excellence of the novel.

In conclusion, Charles Major's The Touchstone of Fortune is a remarkable historical novel that successfully transports readers to the Revolutionary War era. With its compelling characters, meticulously researched setting, and thought-provoking themes, this book is a must-read for fans of historical fiction. Charles Major once again proves himself to be a master storyteller, creating a tale that is as entertaining as it is enlightening.

First Page:

THE TOUCHSTONE OF FORTUNE

Being the Memoir of Baron Clyde, who lived, thrived, and fell in the Doleful Reign of the so called Merry Monarch, Charles II

by

CHARLES MAJOR

Author of When Knighthood Was In Flower , etc.

1912

To My Wife

CHAPTER I

DAUGHTERS AND POVERTY

Goddess Fortune seems to delight in smiling on a man who risks his all, including life, perhaps, on a desperate chance of, say one to one hundred. If her Ladyship frowns and he loses, his friends call him a fool; if he wins, they say he is a lucky devil and are pleased to share his prosperity if he happens to be of a giving disposition. Lucky? No! He has simply minted his courage.

The most remarkable illustration of these truths that has ever come to my knowledge is my friend George Hamilton, the second son in this generation of the illustrious House of Hamilton, Count Anthony being its present head. The younger son was penniless save for the crumbs that fell from his elder brother's table, and Count Anthony was one who kept an eye on the crumbs.

George, who was of an independent nature, accepted Anthony's grudging help reluctantly. Therefore when Charles II was restored to the English throne in 1660, the younger Hamilton, who had been with the king in exile, was glad to assume the duties of Second Gentleman of the Bedchamber in Whitehall Palace... Continue reading book >>




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