Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bedford Village

Bedford Village

A Novel by Hervey Allen (1889-1949).

New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1944. 305 pages.

New York Times bestseller in 1943, this is the second of a historical-romance trilogy by Hervey Allen which he planned to call Sylvania. The other two novels are the first, The Forest and the Fort, and the conclusion, Toward the Morning.

Set during Pontiac's Rebellion and the Siege of Fort Pitt (1763), it stars Salatheil Albine, a 6' 4" white, yet still uncivilized, hero. When he was a boy on the Western Pennsylvania frontier he had been captured by Shawnee Indian raiders, who forced him west into the Ohio Country and raised him as a chief's son. 

After relearning English, Albine identifies with colonists and escapes east to Fort Pitt. Captain Simeon Bouyer, fort commander, takes on Albine as his manservant.

The plot of Fort Bedford includes a long march further east to Bedford—and more safety and civilization and education—after the 5-week siege had ended.

“Hervey Allen . . . the Doctor Johnson of our novelists, says The Atlantic Monthlywith his eighteenth-century flavor, his appetite for words, his love of talk and movement, and the masculine humor to give bite to his pages.”

Hervey Allen is best known for his 1933 national bestseller Anthony Adverse and especially its Warner Brothers film, which won 4 Academy Awards in 1936. He was born in Pittsburgh, where his father was the inventor of an automated blast furnace stoker. Allen enrolled at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1909, but because of a sports injury, left Annapolis and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1915. He served in combat during World War I. His poetry collection, Wampum and Old Gold, won Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize in 1921. 

Allen actually planned five novels to trace the progress of Salatheil Albine “from semi-savagery into the civilization of the post-Revolutionary period.” Allen died, however, before completing the last two, The City in the Dawn and Richfield Springs. The entire five book series was to be called The Disinherited

Rinehart & Company posthumously released an omnibus volume, The City in the Dawn, which contains the three published novels plus an excerpt of the unfinished fourth novel.

Genre: Historical Novel
Subgenres: Historical Romance, Captivity Narrative, Adventure Novel, War Novel, Western Novel
Time: 18th-century, 1760s, 1763, 1764
Keywords: Pittsburgh, Braddock's Field, Fort Ligonier, Raystown (Bedford), Fort Pitt, Fort Bedford, Redstone Old Fort, Pontiac's Rebellion, Siege of Fort Pitt, Quakers, Arthur St. Clair, Simeon Ecuyer, Henry Bouquet, John Frazier (John Fraser), Garrett Pendergass, James Smith (1737-1814), Presbyterians, Protestant ministers, Native Americans, Shawnee Indians, Delaware Indians, Ohio River, Allegheny River, Kiskiminitas River, Conemaugh River, Juniata River, Beaver River, Youghiogheny River, Monongahela River, Turtle Creek, Loyalhanna Creek, Allegheny Mountains, Allegheny Mountain, Venango Trail, Great Meadows

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