Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Although Harry and George Warrington are twins, George is declared the heir to their father’s estate by virtue of having been born half an hour before his brother. Both are headstrong lads, greatly pampered by their widowed mother, Rachel Esmond Warrington, who manages her Virginia estate, Castlewood, much as she managed the mansion in the old country. She never lets her sons forget their high birth, and she herself had dropped the name of Warrington in favor of her birth name, Esmond, so that everyone would remember her noble rank. Rachel is a dictator on her plantation, and although she is respected by many, she is loved by few.
Harry and George are trained according to the place and the time. They learn to ride, to shoot, and to gamble like gentlemen, but they have little formal education other than a small knowledge of Latin and French. Their mother hopes they might pattern themselves after Colonel George Washington, who is their neighbor and her close friend. Harry worships Washington from his youth to his death, but George and Colonel Washington are never to be friends.
When General Braddock arrives from England to command the English troops in the war against the French, Washington and George join his forces. Although Harry is a better soldier, George represents the family because of his position as elder son. Braddock is defeated, and George is reported captured and killed by the French. George’s mother blames Washington for not...
(The entire section is 1080 words.)
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