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Synopsis

To Have and to Hold (1900) is a novel by American author Mary Johnston. Published by Houghton Mifflin, it was the bestselling novel in the United States that year. "To Have and to Hold" is the story of an English soldier, Ralph Percy, turned Virginian explorer in colonial Jamestown.

Ralph buys a wife for himself - a girl named Jocelyn Leigh - little knowing that she is the escaping ward of King James I, fleeing a forced marriage to Lord Carnal. Jocelyn's husband-to-be Carnal eventually comes to Jamestown, not knowing that Ralph Percy and Jocelyn Leigh are man and wife.

Mary Johnston (November 21, 1870 – May 9, 1936) was an American novelist and women's rights advocate. The daughter of an American Civil War soldier who became a successful lawyer, Mary Johnston was born in the small town of Buchanan, Virginia. A small and frail girl, she was educated at home by family and tutors. She grew up with a love of books and was financially independent enough to devote herself to writing. During her long career, in addition to twenty-three novels, Johnston wrote a number of short stories, one drama, and two long narrative poems. She used her fame to advocate women's rights, strongly supporting the women's suffrage movement.

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