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Book Title: Bride of the MacHugh|
The author of the book: Jan Cox Speas
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Edition: Bobbs-Merrill Co
Date of issue: 1954
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 23.30 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.2
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This is the story of Elspeth Lamond and the MacHugh. Elspeth is a provocative and feminine lass who lived in a turbulent time in Scotland's history, a period crowded with romance, intrigue, battles and characters that are memorable for their vitality and charm, their lust, strength and willfulness. Alexander MacHugh was head of one of Scotland's mightiest clans when the rebellious Highlanders rallied around the MacDonald banner. He was a man of massive will but gravely courteous demeanor, and he clashed with Elspeth at every encounter, his will pitted against hers, neither of them willing to surrender to an irresistible attraction.
It was early in the seventeenth century in Scotland, and the men and women who lived, loved and fought then were no less stormy and unpredictable than the violent events which caught them up and determined their fates. In these pages you will meet the corrupt and ambitious Earl of Argyll, Elspeth's wily guardian, who epitomizes an insatiable greed for power and wealth; Kate MacLachlan, the beautiful and treacherous redhead, whose passion for Alexander MacHugh would stop at nothing for fulfillment; Gavin, the grim and mysterious youth with a scar across his cheek; Elspeth's half-sister, Jeanie Lamond, as fair and fresh as a May morning, and, of course, the many brave and gallant Scottish rebels, led by the MacDonalds, who harried the Campbells and would not be subdued by England.
It seemed just another day when Elspeth Lamond rode into the wild and untameable hills and moors of the Highlands on a quiet mission from London, but within a few hours she was a captive riding in the rain toward an unknown destination. From the day of her abduction by a band of rough horsemen till the day she fled the thick walls of her guardian's castle, Elspeth's fate was irrevocably linked with the Lamonds and with their friend, the MacHugh, whose name reverberates through these pages with the vigor of a clash of arms.
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Jan Cox Speas was born November 5, 1925 in Raleigh, North Carolina. She attended the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina (women could not go to UNC-Chapel Hill until junior year) from1942-46, where she studied creative writing under Hiram Hayden. UNC had a special association with Jan's family: her mother, Francis Howard Cox, who had studied as a high schooler at home in tiny Richlands, NC, was the first in the family to come to the college, taking the train in 1914 to Greensboro to study to be a teacher, and years later Jan’s daughter, Cindy, attended UNC-Chapel Hill in the first year freshmen women were allowed to enroll.
Near the end of the war Jan met and married John Speas on his return from the European theater. Their first child, Cindy, was born in 1948, right after John graduated from Colorado State University.
After several years of traveling, the Speas family settled back in Greensboro in 1954 to be near Jan’s mother, who suffered from chronic ill health. During that time Jan wrote multiple short stories for the widely read “slick” magazine market, including The Post, Ladies Home Journal, McCall’s, Cosmopolitan, and others.
Cindy Speas recalls, “Mom learned to write from reading--and that's what we did as a family every night.” Jan's favorite authors included Daphne DuMaurier, Mary Stewart, Nevil Shute, Elswyth Thane, Inglis Fletcher, Helen MacInnis, Elisabeth Ogilvie, Elizabeth Goudge, Dorothy Sayer and Josephine Tey. “But the most fun Mom and I had,” Cindy confesses, “was with Georgette Heyer's Regency romances--we collected all of the original hardbacks.”
Jan's own first novel, Bride of the McHugh, was published the same month her second child, Greg, was born, in 1954. The Indiana firm Bobbs-Merrill, where her UNC mentor Hiram Hayden was an editor, was the publisher. She published two more historical novels, My Lord Monleigh in 1956, and My Love, My Enemy in 1961, before going back to graduate school in 1962, where she received her Master of Fine Arts under southern poet Randall Jarrell at UNC-Greensboro, writing The Growing Season as her thesis. The Growing Season, published in 1963, was the first thesis accepted in non-standard thesis form for the university library, and is still on their shelves as the actual published book. (UNC-Greensboro also holds the original manuscript of Bride of the MacHugh)
Jan went on to teach English and creative writing as well as American literature and poetry at Guilford College in Greensboro . Her favorite poets were T.S. Elliott and Robert Frost. Sadly, she died of a heart attack in late October 1971 while on the west coast visiting her brother who was dying from a brain tumor, a double tragedy for their mother. “None of us expected it,” says Cindy. “It was a huge personal loss, but also a loss to all her fans.”
At the time of her death, Jan was working on a novel that remains unfinished.
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