Elswyth Thane Books

American author Elswyth Thane, whose birth name is Helen Elswyth Thane Ricker Beebe, was renowned especially for the Williamsburg book series (historical fiction) which revolves around Williamsburg state residents in the wake of British rule in colonial America to the run-up to the Second World War. Elswyth Thane, a staunch Anglophile, started her writing career in late 1920s, where she was a freelancer before becoming a journalist and screenwriter for silent films. All of her literary works can be found here, listed chronologically.

Order of Elswyth Thane Standalone Novels

Order of Williamsburg Series

# Read Title Published
1 Dawn's Early Light 1934
2 Yankee Stranger 1944
3 Ever After 1945
4 The Light Heart 1947
5 Kissing Kin 1948
6 This Was Tomorrow 1951
7 Homing 1957
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Elswyth Thane debuted in 1926, where she published her first book, titled “Riders in the Wind” and published her last work in 1976. However, the Williamsburg series which she is famous for was published from 1934, where “Dawn’s Early Light” is the first book in the series. Elswyth Thane has also written romance genre and her various books, shelved as fiction and nonfiction, have an adventurous element. Even then some of her books such as “Tryst”, appear like a mystery genre but may not be classified as such. She opined that her books were partly influenced by her short stint in a film studio where she learned to economize words and resist from wordiness. She often traveled to England to research for material for her books and, thus, frequented the British Museum for reference purpose.

Read on the following complete collection of her works; the books are listed in terms of the title and the year the respective books were initially published.

Best Books by Elswyth Thane

Elswyth Thane’s books are renowned for their signature. For instance, the book called “Tryst” is lauded for its engaging tone. However, “Dawn’s Early Light”, “Yankee Stranger”, and “Ever After”, the first three books in the Williamsburg series, respectively, are the best books written by Elswyth Thane. Generally, the scenes in this series start in the state of Williamsburg, the US, before (as the scenes unfold in subsequent books in the series) they gradually go to other locations among them New York, Virginia, and London, in the UK.

Dawn’s Early Light was originally published in 1934 though they are over seventeen other editions. This book traces and follows the lives of the elite class in Williamsburg, the within the British colony of Virginia, in the last stages of the American Revolutionary War. From the colony’s Royal Palace to the landmark Raleigh Tavern, the who’s who in Williamsburg upon Virginia is revealed. Notable figures include John Sprague, the future US President George Washington’s assistant, the angelic Regina Greensleeves, the educationist Julian Day, and beauty queen Miss Thane. This book recognizes and credits the selfless people behind the US liberation, in their quest for the betterment of America.

Yankee Stranger, the second book in the Williamsburg series and initially published in 1944, is a wartime love story which sprouts at an unlikely place. Eden Day, a woman from a well-off background, is attracted to Cabot Murray, a Yankee and journalist. But their love seems ill-fated because of their social statuses and a nation is seemingly on the verge of disintegrating. But her family hears about the love struck couple and, surprisingly, invites Murray along.

Ever After, the third book in the series and originally published in 1945, is about troubled characters who chance upon and are attracted to each other. Here, Elswyth Thane narrates about Bracken Murray, who is reeling from marital abandonment; Murray is besotted by a British lady while in London. Coincidentally, Fitz, Murray’s relative, saves a musician in America. Fitz warms the cockles of the musician’s heart and the two fall for each other.

Note: Two of Elswyth Thane books, “The Tudor Wench” and “Young Disraeli”, were adapted into plays.

If You Like Elswyth Thane Books, You’ll Like…

The fans of Elswyth Thane also loved reading other literary works about the American Revolution, especially “Celia Garth”, “Sparrowhawk”, and “American Patriot Series”. “Celia Garth” is a book authored by Gwen Bristow and initially published in 1959; it revolves around Celia Garth, a Charleston resident and beautiful heroine who was pulled into the vortex of the American Revolution and had her mettle tested.

“Sparrowhawk” is a book series written by Edward Cline and was originally published in 2001; it recounts the American Revolutionary War, where it classifies it into two separate wars–the long-time simmering mental war and the physical war. “American Patriot Series”, written by J.M. Hochstetler and the first edition originally published in 2004, is a fictitious historical recount about the American Revolution; it revisits the foundation of America.