Boone: A Biography by Robert Morgan
3 words: myth-busting, detailed, literary
Travel-inspired reading: I’m kind of hooked on it.
Anyone else with me on that?
When the Dear Man and I were canoeing in Kentucky, we also visited Fort Boonesborough.
It’s a place where Daniel Boone lived and dramatic things happened there.
So: we history geeks were into it.
Result: I wanted to read a Boone biography.
During our visit to the truly spectacular Paris Public Library, I asked the wonderful librarian to recommend a biography of Boone, and she suggested the Robert Morgan. I’m so glad she did.
This book, written as it is by a novelist, is seriously narrative. Morgan’s one heck of a talented storyteller, and his writing is downright lovely.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed being immersed in this story.
Even beyond the drama (being captured by Native Americans and absorbed into the tribe as the son of the chief — who knew?!) Boone’s life offers plenty of food for thought.
There’s some major irony here. Boone loved hunting and exploring, but his efforts led to the destruction of what he valued most. By opening up the West to settlement, there went the hunting grounds.
And when a biography of Boone was published during his lifetime, he became a folk hero and lived with the weirdness of early 19th century fame.
Morgan’s warm, compassionate portrait paints Boone as a decent, talented man who was deeply loved by his family and friends. And that’s an angle I hadn’t really considered — the man’s personal life. Morgan brings him very much to life, and he made me care about this man whose legend has obscured his humanity.
Give this book a whirl if you like…exploration, stories of loners, the frontier, early American history, a nuanced and balanced view of a historical figure
So, good readers… have you ever read a book because of a vacation inspiration?