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Sibylline Press

1666: A Novel by Lora Chilton (Paperback)

1666: A Novel by Lora Chilton (Paperback)

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Fiction - Historical - Cultural Heritage - Indigenous


A Fictional Recounting of the Survival Story of Patawomeck Tribe of Virginia 

The story has been remembered within the Patawomeck tribe for generations, but is largely unknown outside of the tribe until now. Author Lora Chilton, a tribal member through the lineage of her father, has created this powerful fictional retelling. 

The story follows three Indigenous Patawomeck women who lived through the decimation of their tribe by land hungry colonists in the summer of 1666, the massacre of their men, the harrowing march south where they and their children were sold and transported to Barbados via slave ship, and, eventually, their brave escape back to Virginia. It is because of these women that the tribe is in existence to this day. 

This work of historical fiction is based on oral tradition, interviews with tribal elders, written colonial records and extensive research by the author, including study of the language. The book uses Indigenous names for the characters and some Patawomeck words to honor the culture and heritage that was erased when European colonization of the Americans began in the 16th century.

A member of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia, Lora Chilton tells the story of her people and their unlikely survival due to the courage of three Patawomeck women. As a part of the process, she interviewed tribal elders, researched colonial documents and studied the Patawomeck language. Chilton graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. She has worked as a Registered Nurse, a small business owner, an elected official, a non-profit executive and a writer. Memphis is her home. 1666: After the Massacre is her second work of historical fiction.

"Packed with Indigenous culture and customs and sprinkled with tribal terminology, the narrative is vivid, magnetic, and chilling. The author is herself a Patawomeck descendant, and she's combined scant available written records with tribal oral history to inform her creation of two emotionally powerful, vibrant female protagonists....plenty of action, tears, cheers, and historical detail work to keep the pages turning. A disturbing, absorbing, and valuable addition to the literature of cruelty inflicted upon Indigenous peoples." --Kirkus Reviews

"Lora Chilton's 1666: A Novel is an historically accurate, horrific, moving chronicle of the devastation wrought on the indigenous population by white settlers in early America. The author manages to take large dollops of shocking history and fashion them into a narrative that moves like a chilling wind. The story is a tragedy, of course, but in Chilton's sure hands, it transcends the horrors, and the name of this transcendence is Art." --Corey Mesler, author of Memphis Movie, and The World is Neither Stacked For Nor Against You: Selected Stories

"With meticulous research, Lora Chilton's 1666: A Novel, brings to life the forgotten and tragic story of women who survived a disgraceful chapter in our melting-pot history. Following them from Virginia and the birth of the 'New World, ' to Barbados, eventually back to their lost homelands, you cannot help but mourn the lost opportunity early settlers had to collaborate rather than annihilate." --Molly Calwell Crosby, author of The American Plague, and The Great Pearl Heist

"Beautifully written, 1666: A Novel tells a story that needs to be told...this is a story of the survival of our best selves over our worst." --Dr. Barbara U. Prescott, co-author of My Heart Got Married and I Didn't Know It

"In this debut novel by Lora Chilton, 1666: A Novel, we are introduced to a history based account of two brave Indigenous women of the Patawomeck tribe, who are abducted from their native Virginia home in 1666 and enslaved under the brutal 'Master' and 'Mistress' of the plantations in Barbados. A page-turning marvel of a historical novel! Otherwise, the shameful erasure of the Patawomeck would have been maintained." --Diana Y. Paul, author of Things Unsaid

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