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Mary's Land [Paperback]

Lucia St Clair-Robson , Lucia St Clair Robson
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 29.06 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Nov. 13 2003
Mary's Land is a novel of Lord Baltimore's rowdy colony in 1638. Kirkus Review calls it a "stylish, superior historical... a richly detailed, first rate tale" with, "memorable characters, scenes, and lilting dialogue."

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the "wild country" colony of Maryland in the mid-17th century, Robson's (Light a Distant Fire) languidly paced novel brims with authentic detail and dialect but, because of a tepid plot, fails to bring this historical period to full life. In 1638, Anicah Sparrow, a tough-talking 13-year-old pickpocket, is kidnapped in Bristol, England, and held inside the rat-infested bowels of a ship bound for Mary's Land, where she'll be sold as an indentured servant to the highest bidder. Several decks above is Margaret Brent, a 37-year-old descendant of English nobility who, along with her devout sister and brother, is being smuggled out of England to avoid persecution for illegally practicing Catholicism. Arriving in the New World, Anicah is sold to Samuel Smythe, a local tavern owner, but manages to steal away for romantic trysts with Martin, another indentured servant. Meanwhile, Margaret, who had purchased property in the new colony in exchange for transporting laborers from England, and who despaired upon first viewing the desolate land, begins building her new manor and planting tobacco and other crops. Robson diligently chronicles the struggles facing the new settlers and the ongoing battles over religious freedom, but few of her characters, including real-life historical personages like Margaret, inspire more than ordinary interest. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate selections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In 1638, Margaret Brent, an upper-class Catholic, sets out for Lord Baltimore's new colony in search of personal and religious freedom. On the same ship is Anicah Sparrow, an orphan who has been kidnapped to serve as an indentured servant in the colony. The reality of their new home is much harsher than expected, but Anicah finds love and a better life. Ultimately, Margaret moves on in her search for freedom. Maryland native Robson has meticulously researched her work, using a mix of real and fictional characters. As author of several historical novels, including The Tokaido Road (LJ 2/15/91), she has an eye for the details of everyday life and an ear for the rich and earthy language of the period. Her novel will do well in most historical fiction collections. [Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates.]-Barbara E. Kemp, SUNY at Alban.
--Barbara E. Kemp, SUNY at Albany
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Reading this book was hardly worth the struggle. Jan. 16 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lucia Robson St.Clair's novels have always been in the "can hardly put it down" catagory but this recent novel"Mary's Land" set in early Maryland history was a struggle to read. The story began with the promise of another wonderful historical drama but after the main characters landed in the colonies and began their new life,the story started to wander and never seemed to find its footing again.I was discouraged but glad to read comments from other readers. I learned I was not her only fan who must have been shaking their heads and furrowing their brows as they struggled through this recent novel by a favored author.
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2.0 out of 5 stars TOO much detail June 5 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved RIDE THE WIND and other books by this author, but this one is a struggle for even a history lover to read. I appreciate the exhaustive research she obviously put into the book, but the details obscure the characters and make the novel dull, dull, dull. Unless there are well-developed characters, all the earthy language and descriptions of customs in the 17th century won't make an interesting book. This was supposed to be a historical NOVEL, wasn't it?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Happy to see this classic back in print Dec 24 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
"Mary's Land" is a colorful and detailed novel of a time at the beginning of Europeans' migration to the New World. Robson's novel puts the reader into the thick of the action from the long journey on a small ship to the taming of the frontier. The characters are people you care about. You cheer them on when they find success and cry for them when they don't. Wonderful to see it back in print.
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1.0 out of 5 stars historical details take over the book Jan. 15 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is hard to get through this book and get to know the characters well. Robson puts massive amounts of historical and visual details in her book and doesn't develop the characters well. Also, their speech, although probably accurate for the time frame, makes it difficult to read as well. If you want to paint a picture of this time, read the book, but if you want a story, pass over this one.
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