Mary Johnston


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(1870–1936), Virginia author of 22 popular romances, the best known of which is To Have and To Hold (1900), telling of a young English noblewoman who leaves her country to avoid marriage with a man she hates, and weds an unbelievably heroic Virginian. Fifteen of her stories deal with various periods of Virginia history, and The Long Roll (1911) and its sequel, Cease Firing (1912), are romantic tales of the Civil War, constructed with minute attention to historical facts. Her books are idealistic, sometimes verging on the mystical, and are peopled by stilted or artificial figures, despite her ability to re-create atmosphere.

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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