|About the Book|
The wife of South Carolina secessionist governor Francis W. Pickens and known as the Queen of the Confederacy, Lucy Holcombe Pickens (1832-1899) was during her lifetime one of the most famous women in the South. Rumor was that in her youth sheMoreThe wife of South Carolina secessionist governor Francis W. Pickens and known as the Queen of the Confederacy, Lucy Holcombe Pickens (1832-1899) was during her lifetime one of the most famous women in the South. Rumor was that in her youth she published a novel under pseudonym. Recently discovered as The Free Flag of Cuba- or, The Martyrdom of Lopez: A Tale of the Liberating Expedition of 1851, her 1854 book is a romanticized account of the filibustering expedition to Cuba by Narciso Lopez. With this new edition, Orville and Georganne Burton resurrect Holcombes lost work and prove it to be a window on many pressing nineteenth-century issues.A not-so-subtle plea for U.S. support for Cuban independence from Spain, The Free Flag of Cuba vindicates Lopez and his men-who were officially regarded as mercenaries-and declares them to be martyred heroes. Holcombes tale clearly reflects the values southern aristocratic women expected in men, even if preserving those values meant death and defeat-a harbinger of why women like Lucy so ardently supported the Confederacy.With an illuminating introduction detailing the life of Lucy Petway Holcombe Pickens and the historical context of her novel, this new edition of The Free Flag of Cuba is a welcome glimpse into the mind and value system of the southern belle who would become a southern icon.Professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Orville Vernon Burton is the author or editor of seven books. Georganne B. Burton is an independent scholar, writer, and community service activist.