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Historical Fiction and Polygamy: Interview with David Ebershoff, The 19th Wife

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Kelly Hewitt
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Historical Fiction and Polygamy: Interview with David Ebershoff, The 19th Wife

Post by Kelly Hewitt » Fri October 17th, 2008, 7:29 am

I have to admit that I am a very biased historical fiction fan. You can tell pretty easily by looking at Loaded Questions that I prefer royal historical fiction whether it be the Emperor of China, Queen of Spain or the Russian Romanovs, I am transfixed.

Lately I have been reading The 19th Wife, a historical fiction that looks at the begings of the Mormon faith through the eyes of Bringham Young's 19th wife, Ann Eliza Young, who left the church and her plural marriage, later writing a book in 1887 and toured the country telling the story of her life.

I have just posted in Interview with David Ebershoff in which we discuss the life of Ann Eliza Young and the book's dual focus on modern Mormon separatists. If you're like me and focus on one area of historical fiction, this may be a good way to crack into US historical fiction at a very interesting time period.

I have included with the interview some amazing resources including a digital copy of Ann Eliza Young's 1887 book in whole as well as a catalog of news paper clippings and stories about her that appeared in papers when she was first going public about her life.

Has anyone else read this? What did you think?

Kelly

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Fri October 17th, 2008, 11:23 am

Dunno, haven't read it, so have no idea of the author's thrust. If he is just telling a story, fine, but if it's pushing some sort of agenda, not sure that I want to read it.

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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Sat October 18th, 2008, 2:07 pm

PBS's "History Detectives" investigated a 1856 novel about Mormon polygamy:
http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetective ... nbook.html

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Julianne Douglas
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Post by Julianne Douglas » Sat October 18th, 2008, 10:05 pm

I haven't read this newest book, but I loved David's earlier book, Pasadena. I'll definitely have to check out his newest, as well as your interview!
Julianne Douglas

Writing the Renaissance

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eclecticreader10
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Post by eclecticreader10 » Sun October 19th, 2008, 4:37 am

This one is one my wish list. I am facinated by women who commit their lives to polygamy. I've read several current day memiors.

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Baby Jill
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Post by Baby Jill » Mon October 20th, 2008, 6:34 pm

The 19th Wife is one of my favorites. If you love this one, you should read Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer (author of Into the Wild).

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Mon October 20th, 2008, 6:49 pm

How similar would you say 19th Wife is to Under the Banner of Heaven?

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michellemoran
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Post by michellemoran » Mon October 20th, 2008, 7:49 pm

As always, great interview Kelly!
Visit MichelleMoran.com
Check out Michelle's blog History Buff at michellemoran.blogspot.com

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Baby Jill
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Post by Baby Jill » Mon October 20th, 2008, 7:51 pm

The 19th Wife is a modern day fictional story and a fictionalized account/facts of Aliza Young (the "19th" wife of Brigham Young) intertwined. They are similar in the context that they both discuss the origins of the Mormon faith. If your concern is that it is religious propaganda- I didn't get that sense at all. Polygamy among Fundamentalist Mormons is alive and well today just as it was at the onset of the religion. This book took facts to flesh out an entertaining story.

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Mon October 20th, 2008, 7:58 pm

My concern is that Under the Banner of Heaven was riddled with errors and inaccuracies.

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