SC history:  A Lady of the High Hills by author Thomas TisdaleA book by Thomas Tisdale, published October 2001; in its second printing

Thomas Tisdale, CharlestonRECOMMENDATION: Author Thomas Fleming recommends A Lady of the High Hills in The New York Sun, 12/04. More.

REVIEW, 8/2003. Emma Hart of the University of St. Andrews said Tisdale's account of Sumter's life should encourage further research into her fascinating 19th century story. More.

NEWS, 8/2002. The University of South Carolina Press has announced it is printing a second edition of Thomas Tisdale's "A Lady of the High Hills." It is now available.

2003 APPEARANCES. Author Thomas Tisdale will speak in Charleston at the Center for Creative Retirement in February and in Washington, D.C., to the Society of the Cincinnati in March. More: Calendar.

READ THIS STORY: Writer Bill Thompson of The Post and Courier in Charleston profiled author Thomas Tisdale and his new book recently. Click here to read an excerpt.

NOW AVAILABLE: Contact your local bookseller for your copy or order online.

EXCERPT: Preface

EXCERPT: Introduction

EXCERPT: Life in New York


From her birth at the palace of Versailles to her death on a South Carolina plantation, Natalie Delage Sumter (1782-1841) lived a life riveted by escape, adventure, grandeur and hardship -- a saga that spanned several tumultuous decades of French history and included her residence on three continents.

What they're saying

"Tisdale's presentation of these amazing social, political and geographical connections would be exhausting if they weren't so interesting...."A Lady of the High Hills" will be intriguing to anyone studying relations between France and the United States during the countries' revolutionary eras, not to mention S.C. history."

-- Colin Burch, The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News, July 2002. (Full review)

"Tisdale competently chronicles her eventful life in this newly published biography of a fascinating woman whose story merits the attention."

-- William Starr, The (Columbia) State, February 2002

The godchild of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and a member of the French nobility, Nathalie de Lage de Volude fled to New York at age 11 at the height of the French Revolution. She lived for eight years in the household of politician Aaron Burr and became a confidante of his daughter, Theodosia.

On her return voyage to France, Delage fell in love with Thomas Sumter Jr., a diplomat to France and the son of South Carolina's Revolutionary War "Gamecock." The couple enjoyed a celebrated shipboard romance, and with her subsequent marriage, Natalie Sumter entered the world of the southern planter aristocracy.

A Lady of the High Hills follows the epic events that took Sumter to Brazil, back to France, and ultimately to plantation life in Stateburg, South Carolina.

Author Thomas Tisdale's history describes Sumter's adjustment to life in the South Carolina backcountry, her role as the matriarch of the Sumter family, and her constant financial worries despite her husband's vast landholdings. Tisdale also recounts Sumter's efforts to overcome religious and intellectual isolation in Stateburg, including her creation of a lending library, education and religious instruction of the family's slaves, and sponsorship of the Roman Catholic Church in South Carolina.

Author Thomas Tisdale's history of Natalie Delage Sumter was published by USC Press in October 2001. A second edition was printed in late 2002.

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