Captains And The Kings

Blog 1292 – 03.24.2019

Captains And The Kings

Some of my earliest creative writing was for book reports in school on books that I had never read. Usually I had seen a movie version of the book or read a comic book, failing that I would read the front flap of the book cover and the rear flap and do my creative writing from those. I am not proud of being such a poor and slow reader for much of my first twelve years of formal schooling but the person most cheated was myself. My love for reading did overtake me as a young adult though and I am forever grateful for all the wonderful lives and adventures I have since experienced through books and am convinced the ones that I have known in my own outward life were inspired by those I read about.

One of my all-time favorite books, and I have many, is Captains And The Kings, by Taylor Caldwell, the cover of which is pictured above. I have read many books by her and have enjoyed them all. Several I have read more than once but none more than this one. Since I first read Captains And The Kings in the mid to late nineteen seventies, after NBC produced and ran a mini-series based on the book, I have read it every few years since. I have owned several copies and the last few times I have read it was on my Kindle. How amazing that I can carry a library around on my IPad and IPhone so that I always have my favorite books with me to read and read again and again, adding new ones to my collection from time to time.

Captains And The Kings is the epic story of an Irish family that immigrated to the United States before the Civil War due to the Irish potato famine that had made life impossible for them to continue in their beloved Ireland. The dad, Daniel Armagh immigrated first, found work, and sent for his wife and two sons. The oldest boy, Joseph, had been instructed by father to care for the family and to see them safely to the U.S. In a long and terrible ship passage in steerage the mother dies giving birth to the boys’ little sister and with her dying breath said that Daniel had come to get her. Daniel, the dad had died, and that left Joseph at thirteen responsible for a younger brother and a baby sister. His struggle and rise to wealth and power in America is the central theme of the story. It is as I said one of my favorite reads. I encourage all, Irish or not, to read it.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

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