Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Hour and the Man, An Historical Romance   By: (1802-1876)

Book cover

"The Hour and the Man" by Harriet Martineau is a captivating historical romance that takes readers on a journey through the turbulent period of the Haitian Revolution. Martineau skillfully combines historical events with fictional characters, crafting a gripping narrative that sheds light on a lesser-known chapter in history.

Set in the late 18th century, the story follows the life of a young French planter named Henry Laroche. Born into privilege, Laroche witnesses firsthand the horrors of slavery and the oppressive plantation system. His beliefs are challenged, and he begins questioning the morality of his own actions. As the revolutionary spirit spreads throughout the French colonies, Laroche finds himself caught between loyalty to his country and empathy for the oppressed slaves.

Martineau's storytelling prowess shines through her meticulous attention to detail and well-researched historical context. The intricately depicted settings and vivid descriptions transport readers to the lush landscapes of the Caribbean and evoke a sense of time and place. The author's commitment to historical accuracy is particularly commendable, weaving real-life figures such as François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, the leader of the Haitian Revolution, into the narrative seamlessly.

What sets "The Hour and the Man" apart is Martineau's exploration of complex themes such as power, morality, and identity. Through Laroche's character, she delves into the psyche of a conflicted individual grappling with his own role in perpetuating a system built on oppression. This introspective journey allows readers to empathize with Laroche's internal struggles and challenges them to confront their own ethical dilemmas.

While the romance aspect of the novel takes a backseat to the historical and philosophical elements, there are moments of tender affection and heartache sprinkled throughout the story. Martineau's writing style is elegant and evocative, capturing the emotions and inner thoughts of her characters with grace.

Although "The Hour and the Man" may not be as widely known as other historical novels, Harriet Martineau's contribution to the genre should not be overlooked. Her ability to blend fiction and history flawlessly, coupled with her thought-provoking exploration of morality, makes this novel a compelling read for fans of both historical fiction and philosophical introspection.

In conclusion, "The Hour and the Man" by Harriet Martineau is a remarkable historical romance that offers readers a unique perspective on the Haitian Revolution. With captivating storytelling, rich historical detail, and profound philosophical exploration, Martineau creates a narrative that is both educational and emotionally resonant. It is a book that will leave readers reflecting on the complexities of history and the impact of individual choices.

First Page:

The Hour and the Man, by Harriet Martineau.

The following is taken with acknowledgements from Chambers Dictionary of Biography, about the subject of this book.

Pierre Dominique Toussaint l'Ouverture (1746 1803). Haitian black revolutionary leader (the surname derives from his bravery in once making a breach in the ranks of the enemy). Born of African slave parents in Haiti, he was freed in 1777. In 1791 he joined the black insurgents, and in 1797 was made commander in chief in the island by the French Convention. He drove out British and Spaniards, restored order and prosperity, and about 1800 began to aim at independence. Napoleon proclaimed the re establishment of slavery, but Toussaint declined to obey. He was eventually overpowered and taken prisoner, and died in a prison in France.

Harriet Martineau wrote this book in 1839, during which year she also wrote "Deerbrook", and published an analysis of her tour of America, from which she had returned in 1836.




The nights of August are in Saint Domingo the hottest of the year. The winds then cease to befriend the panting inhabitants; and while the thermometer stands at 90 degrees, there is no steady breeze, as during the preceding months of summer... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books