In fourth grade, my history teacher thought it was a good idea to show us Gone with the Wind. To be fair, she fast forwarded through Clark Gable’s famous line, but I was hooked way before that. On my next trip to the library, I checked out the book and started to make my way through the 1023-paged hardback version.
Ever since then, I’ve loved long, sweeping, epic sagas. A year or so ago, I started seeing these books in The Bregdan Chronicles make their way across my desk. I was curious at first, but if I read every book I saw, I’d never get any work done (hmm….). But they kept coming — and there were a lot of them. Finally, I broke down and looked into what these books were about.
The Bregdan Chronicles is currently a 17-book series, set in Richmond, Virginia. The first book, Storm Clouds Rolling In, starts just as the Civil War begins. (Civil War fiction and a great weather title? Yes please!) We follow the Cromwell family through the war — especially focusing on Thomas and his willful daughter Carrie.
I’m really enjoying the series. As the series moves out of the Civil War, it starts to explore race relations and women’s suffrage. Sometimes, this gets eerily similar to what we are dealing with today. I am not overly well-read on the women’s suffrage movement, so seeing how the story progresses roughly 70 or so years before this feat was actually achieved is captivating. (If you’d like to learn more, you can visit our brand new Votes for Women exhibit.)
When I was younger, I thought it would have been fun to live through the Civil War. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to understand better how traumatizing and insane that time period was. I’m very glad I didn’t have to try to survive such a world-changing event. We’ve got our hands full with our own pandemic, thank you very much.
This series would be a perfect way to pass the time while we are still social distancing.