"I married her knowing her name, if not her quality. Had I known the latter, had I known she was the King's ward, all the same I should have married her She is my wife in the sight of God and honest men. Death may silence me, but men shall not bend me..."
To Have and to Hold is the classic novel by American author Mary Johnston that has everythingsword fights! Pirates! Romance! Adventure! Runaway heiresses! Great villains! Daring escapes!
Despite the unexciting title and the fact that it was written over a century ago, this book is a virtual guidebook on what an entertaining adventure novel should be.
It became the bestselling novel in the United States in the year 1900.
It is the story of an English soldier, Ralph Percy, turned Virginian explorer in colonial Jamestown.
Ralph buys a wife for himself - a girl named Jocelyn Leigh - little knowing that she is the escaping ward of King James I, fleeing a forced marriage to Lord Carnal.
Jocelyn is an orphan, taken under the care of the king of England from a young age.
Lady Jocelyn led a happily pampered life until the king's favorite, Lord Carnal, decided he wanted her, and the king was happy to give her (and her lands) to his close friend.
Lady Jocelyn Leigh is so utterly resistant to this forced marriage that she flees by taking the place of her maid on a shipment of women to the Jamestown Colony little knowing that the ship is filled with fair young women all looking for a husband among the (desperate) male populace.
Ralph Percy spots one who is a unique beauty. Little does he know how unique she is.
MARY JOHNSTON (1870-1936) was one of America's best selling authors during her writing career and had three silent films adapted from her novels. Johnston wrote historical books and novels that often combined romance with history. During her long career Johnston wrote, in addition to 23 novels, numerous short stories, two narrative poems, and one play. She used her fame to advocate for women's rights and strongly supported the women's suffrage movement.