Friday Roundup: Lord Fairfax Reading

Happy Friday! We have a different sort of themed post for you this week with books and articles, both historic and fictionalized, to read concerning Lord Fairfax, the proprietor of the Northern Neck of Virginia.

Romance Around Lord Fairfax This newspaper article is a reflection of the life of Lord Fairfax near the 120th anniversary of his death. It focuses more on his early life in England and what led him to relocate to the colonies. While the account is characteristically sentimental of the times, there may be a few details in this account you have not heard before. Some of the text is similar to the account that appeared in Frank Leslie’s Sunday Magazine Vol. 25, recounting a history of the Fairfaxes of Virginia (p. 435).

Lord Fairfax; or The Master of Greenway Court It is possible if you’ve been on some Winchester walking tours, you might recognize the name John Esten Cooke but have absolutely no idea why he is locally remembered. While he is primarily known outside of Winchester for his Civil War themed romances, he also wrote a number of other historical fiction books and novellas set in the area focusing on our colonial roots. His earliest work was derivative of James Fenimore Cooper down to the book title and cast of characters, and as such his stories may not appeal to everyone for a number of reasons. If you enjoy your historical fiction with a healthy dose of Victorian fantasy, you can read the full book through the link above, or scroll through a bit for the local scenery descriptions.

The Story of the Expedition of the Young Surveyors, George Washington and George William Fairfax is a slightly less fantastical recounting of the surveying expedition for Lord Fairfax, but the images in the booklet may be of more interest than the text. A few of the illustrations have ended up in PHW’s collection on Lord Fairfax, so it was a pleasant surprise to find their source. The author, W. H. Snowden, also wrote and revised several editions of the tourist handbook Some Old Historic Landmarks of Virginia and Maryland, which likewise contains stories and descriptions of Lord Fairfax and Greenway Court.

Greenway Court
Illustration of Greenway Court, the home of Lord Fairfax in Virginia, drawn by Miss Eugenie De Land.