from the dustjacket of the Dodd, Mead first edition
Five generations of Preswicks, living,
loving, fighting, laughing, and dying in a surge of limitless
power that paralleled the course of America. A full tale of a
family that grew with America, of an Aristocracy that gained
everything but reason to live.
Two women bore John Preswick two
children one the daughter of a southern innkeeper, who
nursed a broken Revolutionary soldier back to health, the other a
girl in New York, who waited seven years for her lover to return
from the war. From these children grew the two branches of the
Preswick family, a strange tangle of incestuous love and restless
longing, that stretches over one hundred and fifty years, to the
World War and the South of today, living in the glory of its
All America walks past in STRANGE
YESTERDAY. Old New York, shaking loose from the British
occupation, privateers snapping at Britain's rule of the sea,
preying free as pirates, men losing their bodies and souls in a
mad dash for California and gold, men piling up fortunes in
fantastic booms and ventures, men off to fight a war in France,
returning lost and broken.
Here is an original, thrilling tale of
the love of a brother for his sister, of men for gold and death.
It is a pageant, simply and powerfully told.