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They are bound to a sure and certain promise that God has given them. It will come to pass. Do you remember what Jeremiah had said some years previously?

Jeremiah One could also say the disciples faced a pretty hopeless situation immediately after the crucifixion. All their hopes of being part of a victorious kingdom had been dashed. He brought hope to the hopeless and turned their world upside down and right side up.

Prisoners of Hope

Are things around or within you looking pretty hopeless at present? Student Conference Join one of our. Facebook Groups. After Godwyn is murdered, Landless, rather than simply running away , assumes leadership of the conspiracy.

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Johnston indicates through the actions of characters and her own descriptions that most servants and slaves are "vermin. Another has "a brow like a thunder cloud. The slaves, meanwhile, are "gaunt and hollow-eyed, but smiling widely. But "in the Virginia of long ago he was simply a good-humored, docile, happy-go-lucky, harmless animal.

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Landless, by contrast, is shown to be a model Cavalier in a Cromwellian disguise. In spite of the social obstacle suggested by his name, he defends his honor against the pompous Sir Charles Carew, sucks the poison out of a "large, inscrutable," and snake-bit Indian, and saves the life of Verney's daughter, Patricia, with whom he also falls in love.

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His plan for insurrection, meanwhile, is portrayed as a bold strike for freedom and the first step toward a republic, terms that echo how Bacon's Rebellion — was long interpreted by historians as a harbinger of the American Revolution — When Patricia stumbles upon a secret conference, however, Landless's plans are revealed and he is imprisoned.

After learning that servants and Indians are plotting to burn down Verney Manor and kill its occupants, Landless manages to escape from prison and make his way to the plantation.

There he rallies Verney and his family, Sir Charles, the overseer, and a handful of allied servants and slaves, including Regulus, in a desperate battle against the Indians. Although Patricia is captured, Landless valiantly rescues her and, with Colonel Verney's blessing, ends his days an exile.

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Prisoners of Hope is based in part on an actual conspiracy uncovered in Gloucester County in Nine white servants were accused of plotting an armed march on the home of Governor Sir William Berkeley to demand their freedom. While depositions given by the captured servants do not indicate their political views, the historian Robert Beverley Jr. Other sources have suggested that the servants may have been convicts.

Johnston portrays her protagonist Landless as both a Roundhead and a convict. The General Assembly passed an act making September 13 an annual holiday to commemorate the day on which the rebellion was to have occurred; however, the depositions, dated September 8 and 9, suggest that the servants were arrested on September 6 in the act of launching their plan.

In Prisoners of Hope , the servants intend at first to strike on September 13, but, when Landless is arrested, they move that date up to September Johnston provides a convincing portrait of Governor Sir William Berkeley as impulsive, honor-bound, and concerned with loyalty to the Church of England. She invents the fictional Ricahecrian Indians, who attack Verney Manor, however, contrasting them with the actual Chickahominies , who, she writes, "had the bearing of a subject race.

Critics received Prisoners of Hope enthusiastically. The Baltimore Sun proclaimed that despite there being many "romances of colonial Virginia," there is room for another, "and especially for one as fresh in description of wood life and romantic in incident as this.

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Johnston's second novel, To Have and to Hold , went on to break existing publishing records and proved to be the biggest popular success between the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin in and Gone with the Wind in , the year of Johnston's death. Here is Betty Carrington, the little Puritan [and friend of Patricia], who is ridiculed by her friends because she doubts the righteousness of the slave system.

Here, too, Landless gains the undying loyalty of the Indian Monakatocka when he disregards the color line to suck poison from the red man's snake bite. Finally, the love between Patricia Verney and an indentured servant outrages all the traditions of the girl's class. Wagenknecht worried that Johnston was "a neglected writer," the victim of critics and readers who scoffed that "the sword-and-cloak romance is out of date.