Monday, October 27, 2008

The Raven: A Biography of Sam Houston: Winner, Biography - 1930

The Raven: A Biography of Sam Houston
By: Marquis James
1929, The Bobbs-Merrill Company

Being a Texan and one whose family has lived in Texas for generations (since before it was a state) I was SUPER excited about reading Marquis James's The Raven. I know that Texans can be annoying about their home state, but if you are from there you understand the deep pride we have in our state's history. I will qualify this by saying that I do not hate your state, or country for that matter. In fact, I love to travel and even live in different places to see how the people live and what it is about their location that they have to be proud of. No matter where you come from there are things in it's past to be proud of. I hope that you are able to find that about your home.

OK, now we can move on. I was excited about reading The Raven because I spent a good deal of my childhood learning about Sam Houston's role in Texas history, but I realized that I knew very little about the actual man. For those unfamiliar with Texas history, Sam Houston was not only a Congressman and Governor of Tennessee, but he was president of the Republic of Texas, Senator from the state of Texas and Governor of Texas. I had know idea what a wild life Houston lived and what a romantic figure he was in America during his lifetime.

The physical descriptions that I read about him gave him a type of John Wayne-image in my mind (maybe not the real John Wayne, but definitely the type of characters he played). He was tall, handsome, and mysterious. A free spirit, Houston a good part of his life living with the Cherokee - even becoming a type of adopted son to a great Cherokee chief. The Cherokee were responsible for his nickname, The Raven.

I could go on and on about all that I learned about Sam Houston in James's book, but I won't bore you. The book is not difficult reading and not so boring either. If you like biographies, I think you'll like this book, but I would be interested to see if there are any non-Texans out there who have read The Raven and if they found it as interesting as I did.

(** Special Note ** I do apologize for being late in posting. For those of you who don't know, I am in school right now and find it difficult to motivate myself to any extra writing. But, I continue to read whether I write or not. Thank you to those who do read the blog. I will do my best to not let you down!)


Rebecca Reid said...

I know nothing about Texas history. This sounds interesting. BUT how long are you talking? 300-500 pages of 500-700 pages? I don't think I could take the second category...

AK said...

An edition printed in 1988 is 527 pages (but I think a chunk at the end is index). I would say to look Sam Houston up on Wikipedia and see if he is interesting to you at all before adding this to your list!

Anthony said...

Did the biography say anything about why Sam Houston wore women's hats?