"The Swamp Fox, Francis Marion"
by Noel Gerson
[published by Ballantine Books; (1967) 1974]
I have occasionally seen this book listed as a biography, but it actually
tells the story of Francis
Marion's life in a novelized form. I don't know enough
about most of Marion's background to separate fact from myth so I can't
comment on its veracity. Purely as a novel, it's somewhat flat in tone but
still quite enjoyable.
The one period I can comment on -- his duel with the British in 1780-81 --
is well handled, given when the novel was written, and gives a surprisingly fair and even-handed
representation of Banastre Tarleton. Gerson plays him as ruthless and
dangerous to his enemies, but no more than that. He's shown burning houses and trampling crops
(he did both); he is not shown terrorizing or randomly murdering civilians.