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11.04.04 Johnston, Mary, two selected novels, The Long Roll published in 1911 and Cease Firing, published in 1911.

Notes Concerning the Author

Mary Johnston (1870—1936) of Virginia was one of the most important Southern writers of the period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  She  was a niece of Confederate General Joseph  E. Johnston.   In frail health most of her life, she early turned to writing, during her career  publishing 23 novels and a number of other works.

Our Review

Johnston’s  work contradicts the widespread but misleading idea that post-bellum Southern fiction was excessively romantic.  T he Long Roll and Cease Firing, about the experiences of Virginia men and women during the Northern invasion,  are realistic and unsentimental and at the same time moving.  Johnston also wrote a good many  novels concerning the colonial period of Virginia.  One of these, To Have and To Hold,  was a best-seller when it was published in 1900 and is regarded by some as her best book.  Several other of her books were best-sellers and she was quite popular in both the U.S. and Europe.   Three of her  colonial works were made into silent movies.

Availability of These Books

The Long Roll and Cease Firing may be found in online texts and in used hardbacks.  Also available are more recent paperback editions, although the reader should be warned that some of  these have been abridged.