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Ferdinand De Soto, The Discoverer of the Mississippi

by John S.C. Abbott

Of all the enterprises undertaken in this spirit of daring adventure, none has surpassed, for hardihood and variety of incident, that of the renowned Hernando de Soto, and his band of cavaliers. It was poetry put in action. It was the knight-errantry of the old world carried into the depths of the American wilderness. Indeed the personal adventures, the feats of individual prowess, the picturesque description of steel-clad cavaliers, with lance and helm and prancing steed, glittering through the wildernesses of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and the prairies of the Far West, would seem to us mere fictions of romance, did they not come to us recorded in matter of fact narratives of contemporaries, and corroborated by minute and daily memoranda of eye-witnesses.

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Deborah Swift
When Deborah Swift isn't working on her latest novel, she enjoys exploring the English countryside. It was during one of her nature walks that an "orchid guard" inspired her to write her novel, The Lady's Slipper. As our author of the day, Swift reveals why she was inspired, why she picked the 1660s as a backdrop for her book and what the orchid symbolizes.
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