Elswyth Thane Books

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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 Women of Williamsburg Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Dawn's Early Light 1934 Description / Buy
2 Yankee Stranger 1944 Description / Buy
3 Ever After 1945 Description / Buy
4 The Light Heart 1947 Description / Buy
5 Kissing Kin 1948 Description / Buy
6 This Was Tomorrow 1951 Description / Buy
7 Homing 1957 Description / Buy

Order of Elswyth Thane Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Riders of the Wind 1926 Description / Buy
2 The Strength of the Hills 1926 Description / Buy
3 Echo Answers 1927 Description / Buy
4 His Elizabeth 1928 Description / Buy
5 Cloth of Gold 1929 Description / Buy
6 Bound to Happen 1930 Description / Buy
7 The Tudor Wench 1932 Description / Buy
8 England Was an Island Once 1940 Description / Buy
9 From This Day Forward 1941 Description / Buy
10 The Bird Who Made Good 1947 Description / Buy
11 Melody 1950 Description / Buy
12 Reluctant Farmer 1950 Description / Buy
13 The Lost General 1953 Description / Buy
14 Letter to a Stranger 1954 Description / Buy
15 Washington's Lady 1954 Description / Buy
16 The Family Quarrel 1959 Description / Buy
17 Tryst 1962 Description / Buy
18 Potomac Squire 1963 Description / Buy
19 Queen's Folly 1965 Description / Buy
20 Mount Vernon is Ours 1966 Description / Buy
21 Mount Vernon Family 1968 Description / Buy
22 Remember Today 1969 Description / Buy

Order of Elswyth Thane Plays

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Tudor Wench - A Play in Three Acts - Dramatized From an Episode in the Book of the Same Name (Short Story) 2011 Description / Buy

Order of Elswyth Thane Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 Young Mr. Disraeli 1936 Description / Buy
2 Mount Vernon, the Legacy 1967 Description / Buy
3 The Virginia Colony 1969 Description / Buy
4 Dolley Madison, Her Life and Times 1970 Description / Buy
5 The Fighting Quaker 1972 Description / Buy
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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.

When Does The Next Elswyth Thane book come out?

Elswyth Thane doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Melody and was released on May, 5th 2020.


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