Saturday, July 15, 2006

'Kingdom of the Hollow' by Phillip E. Hardy

TITLE: Kingdom of the Hollow: the Story of the Hatfields and McCoys
AUTHOR: Phillip E. Hardy
PRICE: $16.56 (ebook: $6.94)
GENRE: Historical
ISBN: 978-1-4116-8127-9

The Hatfields and McCoys are now referred to quite casually as symbols of feuding neighbors. 'Kingdom of the Hollow' provides an informative narrative about the real people behind this cliche. The facts of the matter are laid out from the first accuastions of pig stealing, through bungled wooing and hot headed shootings and a final court case. In every detail the feud clearly deserves its status as a symbol of the tragedy of small disputes leading to calamity--in this case dozens of deaths.

This neglected episode in American history is clearly delinieated and placed in the context of nineteenth cenmtury Kentucky in the wake of the Civil War. I was left feeling better educated but with a lingering uncertainty about which aspects were historical and which were fictionalised.

This book does a great service in laying down the facts in a simple and readable manner. Minor but persistent proofreading errors were apparent but a greater difficulty is the dispassionate third person approach which prevents one for really being placed in the characters' shoes. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the Hatfield and McCoy feud in a relatively effortless manner--rather than someone seeking an entertaining novel.


9.2/10 Lulu


Reviewed by Emily Veinglory

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