City of Glory by Beverly Swerling
A Novel of War and Desire in Old Manhattan

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Synopsis

Set against the dramatic backdrop of America's second war for independence, Beverly Swerling's gripping and intricately plotted sequel to the much-loved City of Dreams plunges deep into the crowded streets of old New York.

Poised between the Manhattan woods and the sea that is her gateway to the world, the city of 1812 is vibrant but raw, a cauldron where the French accents of Creole pirates mingle with the brogues of Irish seamen, and shipments of rare teas and silks from Canton are sold at raucous Pearl Street auctions. Allegiances are more changeable than the tides, love and lust often indistinguishable, the bonds of country weak compared to the temptation of fabulous riches from the East, and only a few farseeing patriots recognize the need not only to protect the city from the redcoats, but to preserve the fragile Constitutional union forged in 1787.

Joyful Patrick Turner, dashing war hero and brilliant surgeon, loses his hand to a British shell, retreats to private life, and hopes to make his fortune in the China trade. To succeed he must run the British blockade; if he fails, he will lose not only a livelihood, but the beautiful Manon, daughter of a Huguenot jeweler who will not accept a pauper as a son-in-law. When stories of a lost treasure and a mysterious diamond draw him into a treacherous maze of deceit and double-cross, and the British set Washington ablaze, Joyful realizes that more than his personal future is at stake. His adversary, Gornt Blakeman, has a lust for power that will not be sated until he claims Joyful's fiancée as his wife and half a nation as his personal fiefdom. Like the Turners before him, Joyful must choose: his dreams or his country.

Swerling's vividly drawn characters illuminate every aspect of the teeming metropolis: John Jacob Astor, the wealthiest man in America, brings the city's first Chinese to staff his palatial Broadway mansion; Lucretia Carter, wife of a respectable craftsman, makes ends meet as an abortionist serving New York's brothels; Thumbless Wu, a mysterious Cantonese stowaway, slinks about on a secret mission; and the bewitching Delight Higgins, proprietress of the town's finest gambling club, lives in terror of the blackbirding gangs who prey on runaway slaves. They are all here, the butchers and shipwrights, the doctors and scriv-eners, the slum dwellers of Five Points and the money men of the infant stock exchange...conspiring by day and carousing by night, while the women must hide their loyalties and ambitions, their very wills, behind pretty sighs and silken skirts.
 

About Beverly Swerling

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BEVERLY SWERLING is the author of five previous novels, including the City of Dreams series, a four-volume historical saga set in old New York. She is also a consultant to other authors and an amateur historian. She lives in Philadelphia.
 
Published January 9, 2007 by Simon & Schuster. 518 pages
Genres: History, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for City of Glory

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This installment finds an unhappy young man named Joshua Turner freshly returned to Manhattan from service in the Civil War, during which he’s lost a leg along the way and now sports a peg in its place.

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of City of Glory: A Novel of War...

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When he’s not in Mei-Hua’s bower in China Village on Cherry Street, where wily nursemaid Ah Chee guards her, Sam plots to regain control of Devrey Shipping (lost by his profligate father Lansing) by building the world’s fastest clipper ship and wresting the China trade, including opium, from John...

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The surgeons and apothecaries are clearly favored as Swerling takes us on a fascinating journey through the bold early conflicts between herbal healing and surgery and the mainstream practices taught in the medical schools of the day.

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The ever-shifting alliances defy disentanglement, and some plotlines beggar belief: A widow in reduced circumstances teams up with a pirate to nab free blacks and collect runaway slave bounties, and Blakeman hopes his diamond will prompt the Holy Roman Emperor to back New York’s secession from th...

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The Great Mogul diamond, a slave-catching scam and a plot to produce opium in America stir the melodramatic pot in Swerling's riotous tale of New York City, circa 1814.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of City of Glory: A Novel of War...

Publishers Weekly

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Swerling sets her enthralling follow-up to City of Dreams against the backdrop of the War of 1812, when New Yorkers are suffering the dire economic effects of a

Oct 23 2006 | Read Full Review of City of Glory: A Novel of War...

Publishers Weekly

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and Morgan's best friend and former slave, Cuffy, whose fate is bound to Morgan's by love, hate and the same woman—the gorgeous Roisin Campbell—aka Mistress Healsall.

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