Ohio History Journal

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390 Ohio Arch

390        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


a fondness for history itself. Dr. Naylor's book is having the large

sale it well deserves. It is published by the Saalfield Publishing Com-.

pany, Akron, Ohio.



In the July (1901) number of the QUARTERLY we made somewhat

extended allusion to the then current (July) Century article, by Therese

Blennerhassett-Adams, entitled "The True Story of Harman Blenner-

hassett." In the same number we noticed briefly Prof. W. H. Venable's

historical novel "A Dream of Empire," which deals with the scenes and

personages involved in the career of the American Blennerhassett. We

hardly closed Prof. Venable's delightful volume before broadcast adver-

tisements called our attention to the story, just published by Charles

Felton Pidgin, U. S. A., bearing the title "Blennerhassett - A Romance."

Mr. Pidgin's book is a highly spiced account of the same epoch and

events treated by Prof. Venable. With the Blennerhassetts as the central

figures, the Colonel reproduces in rich, and at times, extravagant imagin-

ation, the romantic story of the unscrupulous Burr and his ill fated and

unsuspecting victim, Harman Blennerhassett. There are the well known

characters of Wilkinson, Hamilton, Jefferson, Aaron and Theodosia Burr,

the Blennerhassetts, Harman and Margaret, and the minor figures in

immediate attendance upon the principals in the so-called "Burr Con-

spiracy" and subsequent tragic ending of Theodosia.  Prof. Venable

crowded a volume of history into a light, pleasing story--it had

the charm of romance without sacrifice to the reality or truth of

history.  He gave us the personages in their actual characters.  It

is a model in conception and execution of the best type of the his-

torical novel. Mr. Pidgin avowedly sets out to pervert history and dis-

tort characters. His book is an attempt to "whitewash" Aaron Burr and

blacken Alexander Hamilton. He would remove all odium thus far

resting undisturbed upon the loyalty and integrity of Burr.  In this

heroizing process Mr. Pidgin naturally, under the circumstances, has to

resort to powerful stimulants and appointments in the shape of highly

wrought scenes; theatrical climaxes; "blood and thunder and blue lights";

that would do credit to the prize numbers of yellow backed literature.

Like the magician on the stage in the dazzling glare of electric effects,

and red velvet and gold tinsel trappings, Mr. Pidgin hopes to bewilder

the reader while he "presto, change," transforms some evil spirits into

white winged fairies and vice versa. And Mr. Pidgin is very clever;

he is no mean necromancer. He is a consummate expert of his craft. He

is a gifted artist in style. He wields a poignant pen. The reader is

whirled along spell bound; lays down the fascinating book and rubs his

eyes as if coming out of a maze. In short, this story as related by Mr.

Pidgin is a strong "show" - it is a spectacular production, it is realistic,

but it is very far from being historic. Mr. Pidgin in his preface speak-