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Ole Devil at San Jacinto

(The fourth book in the Ole Devil series)
A novel by

In 1835, the oppressions of Presidente Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna had driven the colonists in Texas to rebellion. Major General Sam Houston, realizing that his small force could only hope to face the vast Mexican army when conditions were favorable, had ordered a tactical withdrawal to the east.
At last, on Thursday, April 21, 1836, Houston decided that the time had come to make a stand. The Mexican Army, fifteen hundred strong, was on the banks of the San Jacinto river: Houston, with half that number, launched the attack that would decide the future of Texas.
Among those who had supported Houston from the beginning and were now ready to lay down their lives in the desperate struggle for independence was a young man named Jackson Baines Hardin. Those who knew him claimed he was a 'li'l ole devil for a fight.'
The Battle of San Jacinto gave him yet another chance to prove it.

John Thomas Edson was born at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, on February 17 1928, the son of a miner who was killed in an accident when John was nine. He left Shirebrook Selective Central School at 14 to work in a stone quarry and joined the Army four years later.

As a sergeant in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Edson served in Kenya during the Emergency, on one occasion killing five Mau Mau on patrol. He started writing in Hong Kong, and when he won a large cash prize in a tombola he invested in a typewriter.

On coming out of the Army after 12 years with a wife and children to support, Edson learned his craft while running a fish-and-chip shop and working on the production line at a local pet food factory. His efforts paid off when Trail Boss (1961) won second prize in a competition with a promise of publication and an outright payment of 50.

The publishers offered 25 more for each subsequent book, and with the addition of earnings from serial-writing for the comic Victor, Edson was able to settle down to professional authorship. When the comic's owners decided that nobody read cowboy stories any more, he was forced to get a job as a postman (the job had the by-product of enabling him to lose six stone in weight from his original 18).

Edson's prospects improved when Corgi Books took over his publisher, encouraged him to produce seven books a year and promised him royalties for the first time. In 1974 he made his first visit to the United States, to which he was to return regularly in search of reference books. He declared that he had no desire to live in the Wild West, adding: "I've never even been on a horse. I've seen those things, and they look highly dangerous at both ends and bloody uncomfortable in the middle. My only contact was to shoot them for dog meat."

His heroes were often based on his favourite film stars, so that Dusty Fog resembled Audie Murphy, and the Ysabel Kid was an amalgam of Elvis Presley in Flaming Star and Jack Buetel in The Outlaw.

Before becoming a recluse in his last years, JT's favourite boast was that Melton Mowbray was famous for three things: "The pie, Stilton cheese and myself but not necessarily in that order."

Genre: Western

Used availability for J T Edson's Ole Devil at San Jacinto

Hardback Editions

July 1982 : UK Hardback

Title: Ole Devil at San Jacinto
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-7278-0822-2 / 978-0-7278-0822-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

December 1991 : USA Mass Market Paperback

Title: Ole Devil at San Jacinto
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-440-21040-2 / 978-0-440-21040-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Dell
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

July 1977 : UK Paperback

Title: Ole Devil at San Jacinto
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-552-10505-8 / 978-0-552-10505-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Corgi
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

April 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Ole Devil at San Jacinto (An Ole Devil Hardin Western Book 4)
Author(s): J T Edson
Publisher: Piccadilly Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA