The Big Family Author:Vina Delmar The new novel by the author of Beloved is the romantic, fundamentally true saga of John and Jane Slidell and their descendants. The Slidell story is America's story, too. Its locales range through New York, New Orleans, Washington, Paris, Japan, and the sea. It opens during the Revolutionary War and ends in our own time. — John Slidell, candle... more »-maker of colonial New York, climbs from poverty to a position of wealth and social eminence. John Slidell, Jr., after a scandalous duel in New York City, flees to New Orleans. In the Creole world of wealth, position, and titled ancestry, this soap-boiler's son becomes New Orleans' most influential citizen and marries into one of its best families. Soon he is a U.S. Senator, then Confederate Commissioner to France.
Navy Captain Alexander Mackenzie, another Slidell son but one who chose to use his mother's maiden name, commands a new, experimental ship designed by his famous brother-in-law, Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry. The only mutiny ever recorded in the U.S. Navy-the notorious Somers Mutiny-takes place aboard. The result: a court-martial at sea, a verdict of death by hanging, and the execution of the mutineeers.
Commodore Perry, husband of John Slidell, Sr.'s most beautiful daughter, father of twelve children, is given a near impossible assignment-one that powerful nations have failed to accomplish: open distant, hostile Japan to the world. This intriguing adventure commands a wholly captivating section of the nove.
These are but a few of the events that fill this story-events that made history and changed history. The cast is fascinating, including tragedy-touched Tom Slidell, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana; enchantingly plain Jane Slidell and her surprising daughters; August Belmont, of the banking house of Rothschild; Andrew Jackson; James Buchanan; General Beauregard; Edward Livingston; Judah Benjamin; Emperor Louis Napoleon; and the fabulous Empress Eugenie.
The Big Family is a story of tenderness and violence, of ambition and sacrifice. It is historically sound and utterly enjoyable.« less