Legends of Liberty Volume One ISBN: 9781737551317, TAJ Classics, copyright and written by Andrew Benson Brown, Further noted is that it is “Printed and bound in the United States of America by KDP Covert art: The Battle of Lexitom.by William Barnes Wollen Title page: Detail from the Apotheosis of Washington, by Constantino Brumidi. Includes notes with bibliographical references.”
This is a somewhat unusual book for several reasons. The manner of provision itself – it opens with an Introduction that explains how “this important new poem” might be compared to Byron’s mock-epic Don Juan especially from the manner in which “it emphasizes both Lyrics and their ability to depict brief and intense emotional states or intellectual conundrums, whereas narrative holds our attention for a much more prolonged period.” Both also employ “tight and classical forms – Byron a notoriously difficult Italian form – Benson Brown a ten-line stanzaic form that avoids difficulties otherwise faced.” These explanations are most important for readers far more acquainted with the intricacies of poetry than this reader whose early interest in poetry was stimulated by such as Longfellow’s recounting of Paul Revere’s ride and Alfred Noyes “The Highwayman”. For readers similarly inclined and/or poorly prepared, this book and the manner in which it has been presented is excellent.
Discussion/Conclusion: From casual conversations, I have learned that quite a sizable number of readers will not even consider books of poetry. In this case such a reaction would result in their missing a most readable story. Benson’s poem is an extremely fascinating read and the added collection of notes most informative. One particularly noteworthy is that of the wavering position of importance assigned to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the 2020 era. It appears that the status of poets ‘wax and wane’ similarly to ordinary writers, e.g. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, at the time the popular author of “The Last Days of Pompeii”. His style of writing today is of little note. But to conclude, this reviewer believes that any reader who is, or desires to be, in anyway familiar with this section of American history, will discover this volume to be a most informative and enjoyable read.
5* for general reader interest, as described (Originally posted August 10, 2021)