Kenneth Roberts, probably known more for his works such as: Arundel, Rabble in Arms, Oliver Wiswell, Northwest Passage, and Lively Lady, was a prolific writer, having written numerous articles on various topics and books on tourism, antiques, cooking, and water dousing. While probably not as well-known today as in the early- to mid-nineteenth century, Mr. Roberts is still worthy to read. Unfortunately, as I have surfed the web (which is chock-full of fan sites for anyone and anything), I have not found any one site devoted solely to Kenneth Lewis Roberts and his works. I hope to change this (as much as I can on limited resources and time) with this site.
I first became acquainted with Kenneth Roberts when I was in my junior year of high school, roughly 1992/1993. I had a book report to do on any book of my choice, and I happened to come across Rabble in Arms in my school library. I had never heard of the novel, nor had I heard of Kenneth Roberts; instead, I grabbed the book because it was set in the Revolutionary War era. Little did I know then that I would begin a fascination with the works of Kenneth Roberts and a desire to collect anything I can of his writings (with a small budget, of course).
While many students decry American History (and history in general) as dull, useless and a near-death experience, Roberts writes about history in such a way as to make it come alive (which, I believe, is his intention as mentioned in his book I Wanted to Write). Further, Roberts writes about aspects of American history ignored, misunderstood, or neglected by the general public. For instance, the primary subject of Rabble in Arms is Benedict Arnold. Many know Arnold as the most infamous traitor in American history; yet, many probably know very little of the great good he did for our country before his defection. I, for one, was not aware of this; all I remember is his traitorous act as taught in middle school and high school history classes. Roberts attention to historical detail, colorful and vivid language, and his ability to string together seemingly isolated, rather dry historical facts into an invigorating storyline helped me to see that there was more to Arnold, so much so that it makes his traitorous act even more devastating. Roberts applies this technique (for lack of a better term at the moment of writing this post) in all of his historical fiction novels, exposing the reader to little-known historical events and/or people along with an interpretation of the events that more than likely bucks the trend of contemporary understanding.
I intend this site to eventually become a sort of depository for anything Kenneth Roberts. As alluded to above, I have little to no resources to do any extensive research, nor do I have the ability to access many of his original documents or correspondences; rather, others have already done that (see this short bio on Jack Bales, who has written two books on Kenneth Roberts. These are definitely on my want list now!). Instead, I hope to serve as a Grand Central Station of information, links, etc. for those who are fans of Kenneth Roberts or for those who are just stopping by for curiosity’s sake.
So, with this said, I hope this develops into a useful site! If you have any resources or ideas, please let me know.
***DISCLAIMER*** This is an independent website. The opinions expressed on this website are those of the creator, Danny McDonald, and of no one else. This website is not affiliated with the Kenneth Roberts estate or any other person, organization or entity that is involved with storing of or dissemination of records pertaining to Kenneth Roberts. Please direct all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.