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The Kentuckians Paperback – January 4, 1988

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A saga of rugged hardship and danger, as the first Kentuckians opened up the frontier."―Ashland Independent

From the Back Cover

The Kentuckians of Janice Holt Giles's title were that hardy band of frontiersmen who straggled through Cumberland Gap in the 1770s and carved their farms from the wilderness of Virginia's westernmost county. In her historical novel, first published in 1953, Giles invites the reader to experience the danger and beauty of life on the American frontier.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky (January 4, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813101778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813101774
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is absolutely one of the finest books about the early pioneering in our country. Giles writes in a low-key manner, but brings vivid pictures to the mind as the reader follows the travels and travails of one of those pioneers as he makes his way through the wilderness of the Appalachian Mountains into the "wilds" of Kentucky and a new life. As a new-comer to Kentucky in my middle twenties, back in 1957, "The Kentuckians" was a great introduction to the strength and character of those earliest developers of this State.
My first meeting with Ms. Giles' novels actually came through her third novel in this particular series: "The Believers", wherein the granddaughter of those first settlers becomes involved with the Shaker Community in Kentucky. THAT was so beautifully written, that I HAD to go back to read about the protagonist's parents ("Hannah Fowler") and then on back to "The Kentuckians". Each book was better than the first!
And each book drew me in so closely to the people and places involved that I felt as though I was right there and each left me hating to leave their presence! If the Kentuckians ever is reprinted in hardback, I'll be the first in line!
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Format: Paperback
I am a great fan of Janice Holt Giles. I personally think that the story of meeting Henry, falling in love and marrying him, moving to Spout Springs, hunting for the logs and building their home is a beautiful romance. I regret that I never got to meet her, although my husband did actually meet her and also talked at length with Henry when once he was called to their home to repair a refridgerator. My favorite books by Janice, are therefore, the autobiographical ones. "Hanna Fowler" takes the number one spot in my heart for her fiction, however, coming in a close second is now "The Kentuckians" I think some of JHG's books are very well written, and others are not, but "The Kentuckians", written in the first person, rings so true to me that I wish I could drop her a line and tell her how very much I enjoyed it. I am a Kentucky native, almost 60 years old and I remember when I heard people talk the same way that she had the main character revealing his story to us in this book. I felt as if my grandfather were sitting in a rocker on the front porch telling me his life story. I think she did an exceptional job in getting the dialect down just right, especially considering she was not a native. It's also nice to know, when reading her books, that they are historically correct. She made a great effort to learn our quirks and way of speaking and in "The Kentuckians" she got it down pat. Thanks, Janice, wherever you are.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Giles should be better known; her multi-volume set of historical fiction is genuinely excellent. This is the first of the series and one of the best; the second, Hannah Fowler, I think is the best. That is followed by The Believers, also a very good read. Anyone who likes to read will love these books.
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Format: Paperback
For those of you who like to learn your history a non text book manner, "The Kentuckians" is a great read. I know this because I'm a direct descendent of two of the historical characters that Giles has woven into the wonderful novel, and the stories that told in the book match my family's oral history. Only the three protagonists are fictional, EVERY other character in the entire novel are historically based. Years ago, when I began to question my Grandmother about the family's heritage I was given an early copy she had on hand. If any of you are fans of the historical novels of Allan Eckhart or James Aleander Thom, this is a comparable work. Highly recomended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Janice Holt Giles makes two fictional characters and intertwines them into actual history in an adventure/love story placed in the Kentucky frontier of the late 1770s. The writing allows the reader to effectively slip back to those times by grabbing you with what seems like authentic dialogue. Once the reader gets into this book, it'll be hard to put down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Giles wrote about the settling of what is now Lincoln County, Kentucky. I can see the spot where Logan's Fort stood from my house. I love imagining the action in this book at landmarks that are familiar to me. It brings history alive, and I recommend it to friends and students.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is possibly one of the best books I've ever read. Ms Giles was a terrific writer, and it's a shame she didn't write dozens more! I am trying to get all her books, and have most of them. They are the kind you read and re-read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Will not be appealing for readers who are expecting a setting after WW 2, and long before the current times in Boston and Washington, DC. I loved it and wanted to own my own copy of it.
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