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Elsket 1891   By: (1853-1922)

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Elsket 1891 is a remarkable piece of historical fiction by Thomas Nelson Page. Transporting readers back to the Reconstruction Era, the author paints a vivid picture of the lives and struggles of African Americans in the small town of Elsket, Virginia.

Page's storytelling skills truly shine in this novel, as he weaves together a tapestry of multifaceted characters and intertwining plotlines. The story primarily revolves around the protagonist, Elsket Randolph, a spirited young woman who strives to find her place in a society still grappling with the aftermath of the Civil War.

One aspect that impressed me about Elsket 1891 is Page's ability to capture the complexity of human emotions and relationships. The characters feel real and authentic, each with their own desires, fears, and flaws. From the determination and resilience of Elsket to the conflicted emotions of the other townspeople, their struggles and triumphs are portrayed with sensitivity and depth.

Moreover, Page's meticulous research shines through, offering readers a distinct and accurate portrayal of the historical period. The attention to detail, from the descriptions of clothing and dialect to the societal norms and customs, adds an extra layer of richness to the narrative. It felt as though I was actually witnessing the events unfold before my eyes, immersing me in the story from beginning to end.

Furthermore, the author skillfully addresses themes of identity, prejudice, and love in a thought-provoking manner. Through Elsket's journey of self-discovery and her interactions with the townspeople, Page tackles important societal issues that were prevalent during that time. The exploration of the nuances of race and the challenges faced by African Americans in the Reconstruction Era adds a compelling depth to the novel, making it more than just a historical romance.

If I had one criticism, it would be that the pacing occasionally felt slow, particularly in the middle portion of the book. However, this is a minor flaw in an otherwise captivating narrative that kept me engaged throughout.

In conclusion, Elsket 1891 is an engaging historical novel that delves into important themes of identity and societal change. Thomas Nelson Page's masterful storytelling transports readers to a bygone era, offering a glimpse into the lives of African Americans during the Reconstruction Era. With its well-crafted characters, meticulous attention to historical detail, and thought-provoking exploration of societal issues, this book is a must-read for fans of historical fiction.

First Page:


By Thomas Nelson Page



"The knife hangs loose in the sheath." Old Norsk Proverb.

I spent a month of the summer of 188 in Norway "Old Norway" and a friend of mine, Dr. John Robson, who is as great a fisherman as he is a physician, and knows that I love a stream where the trout and I can meet each other alone, and have it out face to face, uninterrupted by any interlopers, did me a favor to which I was indebted for the experience related below. He had been to Norway two years before, and he let me into the secret of an unexplored region between the Nord Fiord and the Romsdal. I cannot give the name of the place, because even now it has not been fully explored, and he bound me by a solemn promise that I would not divulge it to a single soul, actually going to the length of insisting on my adding a formal oath to my affirmation. This I consented to because I knew that my friend was a humorous man, and also because otherwise he positively refused to inform me where the streams were about which he had been telling such fabulous fish stories. "No," he said, "some of those cattle who think they own the earth and have a right to fool women at will and know how to fish, will be poking in there, worrying Olaf and Elsket, and ruining the fishing, and I'll be if I tell you unless you make oath... Continue reading book >>

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