Pomp and Circumstance

Fred Mustard Stewart, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-93309-0
Stewart ( The Glitter and the Gold ) here serves up another high-spirited tale. Sweeping in its scope, if lacking somewhat in depth, the adventure follows its main characters through a host of dramatic settings. In mid-Victorian England, 18-year-old Adam Thorne and Lizzie Desmond are passionately in love and plan to marry until destiny separates them: Adam unexpectedly inherits an earldom; Lizzie accidentally kills her father and is forced to flee. Lizzie is launched on an odyssey through Paris and the court of Napoleon III; to Civil War Virginia, where she succeeds in freeing the slaves of her ogreish planter husband; back to England; and, finally, to the New York of the robber barons. Adam, meanwhile, sets out for India where he becomes a hero in the Indian Mutiny of 1857, returns to England to a marriage of convenience, and launches a daring career as a Tory politician. But the two never forget each other, and their undying love is the tentpole around which Stewart hangs a fast-paced, colorful plot replete with historical detail. Although the dialogue is sometimes anachronistic and Stewart's use of stereotypical dialect for the black characters seems gratuitous, overall this is an entertaining read in the freewheeling, romantic tradition. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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