Landon Carter's Uneasy Kingdom by Rhys Isaac
Revolution and Rebellion on a Virginia Plantation

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Landon Carter, a Virginia planter, left behind one of the most revealing of all American diaries. In this astonishingly rich biography, Isaac mines this remarkable document--and many other sources--to reconstruct Carter's interior world as it plunged into revolution.
The aging patriarch, though a fierce supporter of American liberty, was deeply troubled by the rebellion and its threat to established order. His diary, originally a record of plantation business, began to fill with angry stories of revolt in his own little kingdom. Carter writes at white heat, his words sputtering from his pen as he documents the terrible rupture that the Revolution meant to him. Indeed, Carter felt in his heart that he was chronicling a world in decline, the passing of the order that his revered father had bequeathed to him. Not only had Landon's king betrayed his subjects, but Landon's own household betrayed him: his son showed insolent defiance, his daughter Judith eloped with a forbidden suitor, all of his slaves conspired constantly, and eight of them made an armed exodus to freedom. The seismic upheaval he helped to start had crumbled the foundations of Carter's own home.
In Landon Carter's Uneasy Kingdom Rhys Isaac unfolds not only the life, but also the mental world of our countrymen in a long-distant time. Moreover, in this presentation of Landon Carter's passionate narratives, the diarist becomes an arresting new character in the world's literature, a figure of Shakespearean proportions, the Lear of his own tragic kingdom. This long-awaited work will be seen both as a major contribution to Revolution history and a triumph of the art of biography.

About Rhys Isaac

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Rhys Isaac is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the College of William and Mary and a Research Associate of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790.
Published July 15, 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA. 458 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

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Isaac (Emeritus, History/La Trobe Univ., Australia) works an annaliste’s dream trove: a set of notebooks kept by a Virginia planter named Landon Carter, a devotee of “habitual diarizing,” who progressed from making cribnotes on parliamentary procedure and agricultural observations to recording wo...

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Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Isaac (The Transformation of Virginia, 1740–1790 ) offers an eloquent and unique look at the beginnings and consequences of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of early America's finest diarist, Landon Carter.

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