Seen the Glory: A Novel of the Battle of Gettysburg
by John Hough Jr., Simon & Schuster, 2009, $25
Civil War novels tend to be enigmatic—many are published, but few reach the level of notoriety or quality one might expect, given how fascinated we all remain with the period. John Hough defies this tendency in his new novel, Seen the Glory, managing to capture the often-elusive elements of the genre: effective period dialogue, the gritty reality of combat and the complex web of human emotions soldiers take with them to the front lines that keep them connected to home.
Hough’s characters are realistic and complete creations— sexual beings, in fact—that blend seamlessly with their historical counterparts, and the author pulls off the period dialogue with surprising smoothness and delicacy—a tricky literary device known to fail if not handled just right.
Seen the Glory reflects both the Civil War that is well known and the war that many want to know. Although the Gettysburg Campaign is familiar to most, this is a wholly new tale that will leave you intrigued. A commendable effort overall.
Originally published in the July 2010 issue of America’s Civil War. To subscribe, click here.