Book Notification

Lew Wallace Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Fair God (1873)Description / Buy at Amazon
Commodus: An Historical Play (1876)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Boyhood of Christ (1888)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Prince of India or Why Constantinople Fell (1893)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wooing of Malkatoon Commodus (1898)Description / Buy at Amazon
The First Christmas from Ben-Hur (1899)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Life of Gen. Ben Harrison (1888)Description / Buy at Amazon
Life and Public Services of Hon. Benjamin Harrison, President of the U.S.: With a Concise Biographical Sketch of Hon. Whitelaw Reid, Ex-Minister to France (1892)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lew Wallace, Vol. 1: An Autobiography (1906)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lew Wallace, Vol. 2: An Autobiography (1906)Description / Buy at Amazon
Smoke, Sound & Fury (1906)Description / Buy at Amazon

Lew Wallace was a historical fiction author, governor, and lawyer. The author was born in Brookville, Indiana to Esther French Test Wallace and David Wallave in Brookville Indiana.

When his mother died in 1934, Wallace married Zerelda Gray Sanders two years later. His father then served as the lieutenant governor and then governor of Indiana State over nine years in the 1930s.

From a very early age, Wallace was known as a child that did not like school and for the most part the education he received was from private tutoring. He preferred fishing and hunting to sitting in classrooms and often dreamed of fame in battle and winning glory.

Among his earliest memories was seeing his father looking dapper in his uniform while he studied at West Point. It is not surprising then that he would dream of the military as his father was a West Point US Military Academy graduate.

The coat with its shiny bullet buttons captured his childish fancies as he would later write in his autobiography.

Wallace would soon become an avid writer and reader even as he still continued having an interest in the military. As an adult, he moved to Indianapolis, where he got a job at the county clerk’s office and it was not long after that he joined the “Marion Rifles,” which was a local military company.

In 1846, having grown tired of studying law at his fathers office he decided that he would be better off fighting in the Mexican War. In the military, he would rise to the rank of lieutenant in the Infantry regiment, even though he never got to see any battle action.

When he went back to Indiana, he completed his studies ang got his law licence before getting admitted to the bar in 1849. He started practicing in Covington and became a prosecuting attorney.

He got married to Susan Elston in 1852 and had one kid before he moved to Crawfordsville. He then ran for the Indiana Senate on a Democratic ticket and served for two terms. Nonetheless, he still maintained his interest in the military and could often be found studying books and manuals on leading soldiers.
While residing in Crawfordsville, he led the Montgomery Guards, a local militia unit that he outfitted in the Zouaves uniform style favored by a French Algerian Army unit. He also trained the unit on commando tactics and theatrical drill.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Lew Wallace volunteered for the Union. In his autobiography, he has said that he joined with the belief that the conflict would be glorious and long. He also hoped that he would find opportunities to distinguish himself in a patriotic manner.

Wallace volunteered under Oliver P. Morton, the Indiana Governor who appointed him the adjutant general of the state. Wallace was in charge of raising and organizing the state’s six regiments that would fight for the Union. He was so successful at his job that he raised a dozen regiments in only a few days.
Soon after, he was made commander of the Indiana Volunteer regiment and promoted to the rank of colonel. Before the regiment was deployed, he had them march to the State House and made them swear an oath kneeling and vowing to avenge their comrades.

Wallace then believed that the dead men at the Battle of Buena Vista had been unjustly accused of cowardice. Wallace also came up with “Remember Buena Vista,” the regiment’s battle cry and the whole scene was captured by “Harper’s Weekly.”

After the end of the war in 1865, Lew Wallace was a member of the court martial that tried the men involved in the assasination of Lincoln. He presided over the commission that tried and ultimately convicted Henry Wirz the Confederate Captain that used to be the commander of the Georgian Andersonville Prison.
Even though he achieved a lot and would eventually become US minister to Turkey and New Mexico Territory governor, his greatest fame came just before he died in 1905. Lew Wallace published “Ben Hur,” which has been called the greatest Christian book of the century in 1880.

“Ben Hur: A Tale of Christ” by Lew Wallace is a story that tells of Christ and what he came to do in the world. It introduces an Egyptian named Balthasa, who was one of the wise men from the East that came to visit Christ when he was born in Bethlehem.

He is looking for a savior that would restore the relationship between the creator and humanity. On the other hand is a Jew named Ben Hur, who strongly believes that the Messiah has to be a worldly monarch that will come onto the scene to liberate the Jews from the tyranny of Roman rule.
He is so fervent in his belief that he has assembled three legions ready to go when the messiah shows up. Balthasar has identified Christ as a savior and it is from his fervent faith that the main theme of the novel is built.

Lew Wallace’s novel the “Prince of India” is a novel set in the nineteenth century. It was a time when many authors were looking to create the American epic drawing from the stories they had been told by their fathers about Hernan Cortes and Monteczuma from the Spanish Conquest of Mexico.

Wallace has written his own work which has yet to be surpassed years after his death in 1905. Even though it is a historical fiction work, Wallace manages to pen a credible account that is a retelling of the fall of Moctezuma and the Aztec Empire to the Spanish Conquistadors.

The story is told from the perspective of Viceroy Mendoza, a fictional lieutenant who writes to the Emperor. The lead character asserts his deep respect for the Aztec and the civilization they managed to build. We read of how the Spanish king was greedy for tribute and gold to enrich himself and strengthen his military.

The writer spends a lot of time in the intrigues of the Spanish court and how avaricious the conquistadors were. Throw in themes of faith and morality, and you have a magnificent tale of the conflict between the Aztecs and the Spanish.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Lew Wallace

Leave a Reply