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FREE PDF Ù Celia Garth á This is a story about a girl who wanted things to happen to herCelia Garth lived in Charleston, South Carolina, during the American Revolution She had blond hair and brown eyes and a sassy face, and she worked in a fashionable dressmaking shopThings did happen to Celia, but not as she had planned The king s army captured Charleston The ravisher Tarleton swept through the Carolina countryside in a wave of blood and fire and debauchery Caught up in the ruin were Celia and her friends the merry minded Darren Jimmy, whose love for Celia brought her into his tragedy the fascinating Vivian, five times married Godfrey, rich and powerful, who met disaster because he could control anything in town but the weather the daredevil LukeMost people thought the Revolution was lost Many Americans, like Celia s handsome cousin Roy, joined the king s side Then out of the swamps appeared Francis MarionMarion was a little man Marion was also crippled But as Luke said of him, When that man s leading a charge, he looks nine feet tall In the dressmaking shop, Celia became a spy for Marion She sewed, she smiled sweetly, and in secret she risked her life sending information to this man that the king s whole army could not catch, the mighty little man to whom Tarleton angrily gave the name Swamp Foxfrom the front end flap This was such a comfort read for me quick and easy historical fiction set in Charleston during the American Revolution with strong, lovable characters and a good storyline That is a perfect read for me Celia Garth is a strong, independent young woman who lost both parents as a child and lived with her uncle and his family who although in the planter class struggled a bit When the family begins to try to marry her off she turns to her talents as a seamstress and she secures a place with a we This was such a comfort read for me quick and easy historical fiction set in Charleston during the American Revolution with strong, lovable characters and a good storyline That is a perfect read for me Celia Garth is a strong, independent young woman who lost both parents as a child and lived with her uncle and his family who although in the planter class struggled a bit When the family begins to try to marry her off she turns to her talents as a seamstress and she secures a place with a well known dressmaker in town There her life changes She has never felt that she belongs to anyone and that she truly mattered to them but this changes in many ways.The town is split with divided loyalties Patriot and Tory but the two sides coexist until the British finally occupy the city and begin to roam the countryside killing and pillaging as they go The love and comfort she has found is initially destroyed but Celia finds her revenge working as a spy and revealing small secrets helping Colonel Francis Marion the real figure known as the Swamp Fox to make life miserable for the British Through this she really finds herself and grows into aconfident and fulfilled young woman I wrote the introduction for this edition of Celia Garth, but it appears under my pen name, Sara Donati And here it is At age thirteen I discovered historical fiction by means of Gwen Bristow s Jubilee Trail, and with that began a life long preoccupation with stories set in the past.By the time I was seventeen I had read hundreds of novels about civil wars British and American , the Revolution, the Anglo Saxons and the Norman Invasion, ancient Rome and Greece I considered myself something of I wrote the introduction for this edition of Celia Garth, but it appears under my pen name, Sara Donati And here it is At age thirteen I discovered historical fiction by means of Gwen Bristow s Jubilee Trail, and with that began a life long preoccupation with stories set in the past.By the time I was seventeen I had read hundreds of novels about civil wars British and American , the Revolution, the Anglo Saxons and the Norman Invasion, ancient Rome and Greece I considered myself something of a connoisseur, someone who could tell her Mary Renault from James Michener The stories I liked best were the ones that focused on the lives of women, who were so often banished to the periphery in the historical fiction best sellers Even at a young age I was skeptical of James Feni Cooper s portrayal of women struggling to survive on the New York frontier My impression was that male authors didn t really know how to write female characters, and they didn t particularly regret that lack Women were wonderful for filling in detail and establishing background a man had to have a family to fight for, after all The most a reader could hope for was a female with grit, that stock character who knows how to shoot a gun and speaks her mind now and then, but isn t really fulfilled until she embraces her feminine nature.Even female authors fell into this trap Scarlett O Hara was a strong willed, spoiled, manipulative, vain wretch who wrestled her fate to the ground and held it there determined to get what she believed she deserved Except, of course, she fails, because Scarlett doesn t know what she wants She rejects the love of a good man, and is doomed to unhappiness Gwen Bristow took a different approach Her female characters may be introduced to us as young and inexperienced they may even be na ve But they are otherwise serious minded individuals with strong feelings about matters other than engaging the interest of men.This is certainly true of Celia Garth A young woman with few family ties, she is proud of her skills as a seamstress and ambitious She depends in the first line on her own intelligence and sense of self Unlike many primary characters in early historical novels, she does not fling herself into harm s way Harm comes, certainly, in the form of another war and a British army bent on not only subduing, but mastering and humiliating a rebel colony Celia has a strong sense of herself and her abilities, and what it means to be a Southerner first and an American second in occupied Charleston She does fall in love, but her choice is a good man with a family who loves and respects her The conflict is not an internal one for Celia she does not doubt her choices The force that moves her story along is external when the marauding British army takes everything she holds dear, the Revolution is no longer academic for Celia Step by step she becomesinvolved, of her own free will Her love story, as touching as it is, is secondary to the role she has taken for herself as a spy Celia Garth is a novel that straddles a line She takes great pains to recreate Charleston as a war zone Celia and those close to her are shaken, again and again, by the constant barrage of artillery fired from British ships in the harbor The Revolution is not a sanitized affair there is death and injury and loss of property there is despair and grievous insult and loss of hope There is division within the community Celia s cousin takes the King s side and shows no empathy for Celia even in her worst days The stories of the many secondary characters, good, indifferent and bad, come together to bring 18th century war time Charleston into three full dimensions.Bristow was a proud native of the South Her love for South Carolina and Charleston are palpable Thus it isn t surprising that in trying both to tell a true story and to honor her home she does in fact sidestep the issue of slavery There is no contemplation of that institution it just is The many slaves in the story hate the British as much as their owners do This may be seen as a simplification or even as denial on Barstow s part, or simply as a realistic representation of how Celia saw and understood her world For Celia, as is the case with many of Barstow s female characters, personal happiness family, marriage, children is a byproduct of a life lived on a wider plain where challenges must be overcome Celia Garth earns her happy ending With Celia, Barstow gives us a complex, ambitious character who can strive for personal fulfillment in a whole range of ways.There may well have been young women like Celia who spied for the colonial forces during the Revolution, women whose stories have been forgotten If there are such records, the details will be spotty and open to interpretation the historical record is what it is, and doesn t strive to convince anybody of the facts or even to make them palatable or believable The novelist does bear that burden, and Barstow is equal to the challenge With Celia Barstow she gives us an extraordinary young woman living in Charleston during the Revolution a setting as extraordinary as Celia herself.Sara DonatiJune 24 2008 In Celia Garth, Gwen Bristow cleverly draws the reader in what seems to be a lightweight, comedic tale, with a ditzy, silly, social climbing, young heroine who made me think at first this was gonna be a Becky Sharp doppelganger Then, lo and behold, we are plunged into the horror, the real horror of war From the siege of Charleston by British forces, to their savage plunder of nearby plantations, and persecution of those who were perceived as less than loyal to the King, after their initial vic In Celia Garth, Gwen Bristow cleverly draws the reader in what seems to be a lightweight, comedic tale, with a ditzy, silly, social climbing, young heroine who made me think at first this was gonna be a Becky Sharp doppelganger Then, lo and behold, we are plunged into the horror, the real horror of war From the siege of Charleston by British forces, to their savage plunder of nearby plantations, and persecution of those who were perceived as less than loyal to the King, after their initial victory over the Americans, Bristow painted a picture of the American Revolution that was realistic, heartbreaking, and vivid The second half of the book, after the invasion and occupation of the Brits, has our heroine becoming a spy for the rebels Well, this was very underwhelming for me, as was the tepid romance The author obviously did her research of the era so I was disappointed that she did not get inspired to have her heroine emulate some of the fascinating, adventurous, real life, female heroes of the American Revolution There was so much swashbuckling opportunity here Unfortunately, our heroine is relegated to passing little messages hidden in sewing baskets Quel dommage First half was stellar, second half just underwhelming I would still recommend this for people who, like me, know very little of the details of the American Revolutionary Wars If you would like to know what the antebellum south was like, read this story of Charleston, SC It s 1779 and America is fighting for its freedom The British invade Charleston Harbor and overwhelm the American fighters Charleston surrenders Meanwhile a guerrilla fighter is wreaking havok on the British supply lines in other parts of the state His name is Francis Marion and his nickname is the Swamp Fox Marion and his marauders hit the enemy, do their damage and melt away into the swamp If you would like to know what the antebellum south was like, read this story of Charleston, SC It s 1779 and America is fighting for its freedom The British invade Charleston Harbor and overwhelm the American fighters Charleston surrenders Meanwhile a guerrilla fighter is wreaking havok on the British supply lines in other parts of the state His name is Francis Marion and his nickname is the Swamp Fox Marion and his marauders hit the enemy, do their damage and melt away into the swamp Our protagonist Celia Garth reminds me a little of Scarlet Ohara from Gone With the Wind Beautiful, headstrong and smart, and living in Charleston, Celia spies for the American Rebels Of course there is a Rhett Butler type named Luke Ansell, who fights the British with the Swamp Fox There are sparks between the two A tantalizing novel originally released in 1959, went out of print and now it s available again Author brings us into life in America during the Revolution in antebellum south, with plantations in the country and city life in Charleston There is plenty of southern charm along with the dregs of war I enjoyed the story immensely Highly recommended