Tuesday, August 4, 2009

God is an Englishman by R. F. Delderfield

Whew - what a saga! Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when Britannia ruled the waves and an enterprising Brit could carve out his place in the Empire and pull himself up by his own bootstraps. This is a sweeping family epic centered by the figure of Adam Swann, first a loyal English soldier and then a clever entrepreneur, as he launches a transport company at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. He knows that trade and transport, more than wars, will soon be the pursuits that truly rule the globe. Delderfield is a master at this sort of saga, bringing all the many characters, the era and its manly, xenophobic mindset (the title says it all) to vivid life. From the dusty plains of India to the sooty industrial cities of England, filled with oodles of historical detail, lusty rakes and busty doxies, this book is from that 1970s era of huge historical blockbusters (Michener, John Jakes, etc.). My kind of summer beach reading! Now I'm well launched into its sequel, Theirs Was the Kingdom, following the lives of Adam and Henrietta's eight children as the industrial age and old Victoria's reign progress. When you're done with these books, they also work very well as doorstops (more than 800 pages each). (Not that I would do that to a library book, of course.)

Leatherby Libraries Call Number: PR6007.E36 1970
2nd Floor Humanities Library
Review submitted by: Mary Platt, Director of Communications
Rating: Highly Recommended

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