Paul Revere and the World He Lived In

Forbes, Esther. Paul Revere & the World He Lived In. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1942.

Reason read: Paul Revere was baptized on January 1st, 1735. But. But! But, back in those days the child was usually baptized the day after birth… so I’m thinking he was actually born on 12/31. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

In the beginning Apollos Rivoire came to Boston with an American dream…

Esther Forbes wrote Paul Revere with a good natured, almost folksy tone. I could almost see the twinkle in her eye by her choice of words. Here are some quotes to illustrate my point, “Like so many men of his years and period, Mr. Coney was enjoying his third wife – ‘Prudent Mary,’ Judge Sewall calls her” (p 8), “Boston had not yet run out of either rum or religion fervor” (p 13), and “Only once did she save labor by twinning” (p 21). I could go on and on.
But, just because Ms. Forbes wasn’t didactic in her tone doesn’t mean she wasn’t informative. Her narrative paints a thoroughly detailed and informative account of Paul Revere’s life and times. As an added bonus, the city of Boston also is biographied. One such fun detail is about Boston’s streets: If the present day street is straight it probably used to be sea bottom. “Wherever the streets are snarled up, you are standing in the ancient town itself” (p 49). The next time I am there, I’m going to check that out for myself.

As an aside, I am so glad Revere didn’t teach himself dentistry.

Author fact: Esther Forbes also wrote Johnny Tremaine, a book my sister still has on her bookshelf.

Book trivia: Paul Revere includes photographs. That’s the boring trivia. The more interesting one is that the table of contents includes an abstract of each chapter. I have never seen that before.

Nancy said: Forbes used the information collected for Paul Revere to write Johnny Tremaine.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Historical Fiction for Kids of all Ages” (p 114).

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