The long roll

Houghton Mifflin Company
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Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Company
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Published on
Dec 31, 1911
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Pages
683
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Albemarle County (Va.)
United States
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This content is DRM free.
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It was said that the Queen was dying. She lay at Richmond, in the palace looking out upon the wintry, wooded, March-shaken park, but London, a few miles away, had daily news of how she did. There was much talk about her—the old Queen—much telling of stories and harking back. She had had a long reign—“Not far from fifty years, my masters!”—and in it many important things had happened. The crowd in the streets, the barge and wherry folk upon the wind-ruffled river, the roisterers in the taverns drinking ale or sack, merchants and citizens in general talking of the times in the intervals of business, old soldiers and seamen ashore, all manner of folk, indeed, agreed upon the one most important thing. The most important thing had been the scattering of the Armada fifteen years before. That disposed of, opinions differed as to the next most important. The old soldiers were for all fighting wherever it had occurred. The seamen and returned adventurers threw for the voyages of Drake and Frobisher and Gilbert and Raleigh. With these were inclined to agree the great merchants and guild-masters who were venturing in the East India and other joint-stock companies. The little merchant and guild fellows agreed with the great. A very large number of all classes claimed for the overthrow of Popery the first place. On the other hand, a considerable number either a little hurriedly slurred this, or else somewhat too anxiously and earnestly supported the assertion. One circle, all churchmen, lauded the Act of Uniformity, and the pains and penalties provided alike for Popish recusant and non-conforming Protestant. Another circle, men of a serious cast of countenance and of a growing simplicity in dress, left the Act of Uniformity in obscurity, and after the deliverance from the Pope, made the important happening the support given the Protestant principle in France and the Netherlands. A few extreme loyalists put in a claim for the number of conspiracies unearthed and trampled into nothingness—Scottish conspiracies, Irish conspiracies, Spanish conspiracies, Westmoreland and Northumberland conspiracies, Throgmorton conspiracies—the death of the Queen of Scots, the death, two years ago, of Essex. 
This was the #1 best-selling novel in the United States in 1900, made into movies several times in subsequent years.It is set in colonial North America, beginning in the year 1621. A new movie adapted from the book was filmed in 2011.

The dialog is Early Modern English, somewhat similar to Shakespeare's writings, not contemporary English but similar enough to be understood.The narration is almost modern English, easily understood.

An English soldier, Ralph Percy, turned Virginian explorer in Jamestown colony, buys a wife -- a girl named Jocelyn Leigh -- not knowing that she is the escaped ward of King James I, fleeing a forced marriage to Lord Carnal. Jocelyn has no love for Ralph at first; she even seems to abhor him and explains she only married to have refuge after she fled from England, under an assumed name. Lord Carnal, Jocelyn's husband-to-be, eventually comes to Jamestown to find his promised bride, not knowing that Ralph Percy and Jocelyn Leigh are already man and wife.

Lord Carnal attempts to kidnap Jocelyn several times and eventually follows Ralph, Jocelyn, and their two companions, as they escape from the King's orders to arrest Ralph and carry Jocelyn back to England.

This romance-epic-adventure novel carries the reader along with humor, shipwreck, pirates, entrapment, false accusations, trial, colonial conflict with Native Americans, capture, rescue, suicide, salvation, love, happy ending -- what more could one want?

(Reference: Wikipedia, LibriVox)

The editor of this Feedbooks edition has provided a few footnotes to explain the less familiar words and some of the historical names as an aid to the reader. Using an eBook reader with a built-in dictionary may also help, but isn't essential to enjoyment of the story.

A free audio-book of this novel is available from LibriVox.org.

To Have and to Hold (1899) is a novel by American author Mary Johnston. It was the bestselling novel in the United States in the following year (1900). To Have and to Hold is the story of an English soldier, Ralph Percy, turned Virginian explorer iIPn colonial Jamestown. Ralph buys a wife for himself - a girl named Jocelyn Leigh - little knowing that she is the escaping ward of King James I, fleeing a forced marriage to Lord Carnal. Jocelyn hardly loves Ralph - indeed, she seems to abhor him. Carnal, Jocelyn's husband-to-be, eventually comes to Jamestown, unaware that Ralph Percy and Jocelyn Leigh are man and wife. Lord Carnal attempts to kidnap Jocelyn several times and eventually follows Ralph, Jocelyn, and their two companions - Jeremy Sparrow, the Separatist minister, and Diccon, Ralph's servant - as they escape from the King's orders to arrest Ralph and carry Jocelyn back to England. The boat they are in, however, crashes on a desert island, but they are accosted by pirates, who, after a short struggle, agree to take Ralph as their captain, after he pretends to be the pirate "Kirby". The pirates gleefully play on with Ralph's masquerade, until he refuses to allow them to rape and pillage those aboard Spanish ships. The play is up when the pirates see an English ship off the coast of Florida. Ralph refuses to fire upon it, knowing it carries the new Virginian governor, Sir Francis Wyatt, but the pirates open fire, and Jeremy Sparrow, before the English ship can be destroyed, purposefully crashes the ship into a reef. The pirates are all killed, but the Englishmen (and woman) are rescued by the Governor's ship.
The town of Middle Forest had long since pushed the forest from all sides. Its streets, forked as lightning, ran up to the castle and down to the river. The river here was near its mouth, and wide. The bridge that crossed it had many arches. Below the bridge quite large craft, white and brown and dull red, sailed or dropping sail, came to anchor. Answering to hour and weather the water spread carnation, gold, sapphire, jade, opal, lead and ebony. Now it slept glassy, and now wind made of it a fretful, ridged thing. The note of the town was a bleached grey, but with strong splashes of red and umber. A sharp, steep hill upheld the castle that was of middle size and importance, built by the lords Montjoy and held now by William of that name.

Behind the town a downward sloping wood tied the castle hill to fields and meadows. The small river Wander ran by these on its way to join the greater stream. Up the Wander, two leagues or so, in a fertile vale couched the Abbey of Silver Cross. Materially speaking, a knot of stone houses for monks—Cistercians, White Monks—a stately stone house for God and his Son and Mary; near-by a quite unstately hamlet, timber, daub and thatch, grown haphazard by church and cloister; many score broad acres, wood and field, stream and pasture, mill, forge, weirs, and a tenant roll of goodly length,—such was Silver Cross. So far as physical possessions went what in this region Montjoy did not hold Silver Cross did and what the two did not hold Middle Forest had managed to wrest from them in Henry Sixth’s time. Silver Cross had, too, immaterial possessions. But once she had been wealthier here than she was now. That time had been even with a time of material poverty. Now she had goods, but she did not have so much sanctity. Yet there were values still, marked with that other world’s seal; it is useless to doubt that.

The thorn in Silver Cross’ flesh was not now Montjoy nor Middle Forest, with both of whom she had for years lived in amity. The thorn was the Friary of Saint Leofric—Dominican—across the river from Middle Forest, but tied to it by the bridge, holding its lands well away from Montjoy and Silver Cross, but rival nevertheless, with an eye to king’s favour, cardinal’s favour, and bidding latterly, with a distinctness, for popular favour. That was the wretched, irritating thorn, likely to produce inflammation! Prior Hugh of Saint Leofric—ah, the ambitious one!

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