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A wide experience is one of Rick Britton’s many strengths. There is much pleasure to be gained from the stories he tells, and much to be learned. Jack Jouett’s ride is nowhere near as well-known as Paul Revere’s, but Britton does an able job rebalancing the scales. His account of the African American churches of Charlottesville might be the only one of its kind available to the general reader. Britton knows a good story, and his account of an eccentric named Benjamin Franklin Ficklin is a very good one indeed. Virginia Vignettes is an enjoyable collection of well-told tales. There is wisdom in it, leaving the reader both edified and entertained.
                    -- Alan Pell Crawford is the author, most recently, of Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson.

"What a fascinating book! Beautifully written and well researched, Virginia Vignettes makes a major contribution to Virginia history. I was especially impressed with the profile of Frank Peregoy, a Nelson County native who earned the Medal of Honor for his bravery in the Battle of Normandy. Rick Britton’s narrative of Peregoy’s exploits reflects much dedicated research and an excellent feel for a compelling human story. I strongly recommend this fine book."
                    --  John C. McManus, author of The Americans at NormandyThe Dead and Those About to Die, D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach

"Individually, Rick Britton’s vignettes reveal little-known stories about the history of the Virginia Piedmont. Linked, they bridge almost two centuries. They feature poignant insights from the Revolutionary War and James Madison’s presidency, reaching all the way to World War II. A real treat of storytelling."
                    -- Kat Imhoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of James Madison’s Montpelier

"In Virginia Vignettes, Rick Britton draws upon his years of research and his multitude of published articles and essays. His versatile background as a historian, cartographer, photographer, lecturer, tour guide, author, and editor is brought forth in this potpourri of fascinating and little-known adventures."
                   -- K. Edward Lay, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, University of Virginia

"Rick Britton has written a delightful series of well-researched and engagingly described vignettes of major events related to the history of central Virginia. The book ranges over one-and-a-half centuries from the ride of Jack Jouett, alerting Thomas Jefferson of the approach of the British in 1781, to the extraordinary valor of Frank Dabney Peregoy in the 1944 allied invasion of Normandy for which he posthumously received the Medal of Honor."
                    -- Dr. Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy, Vice President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Saunders Director of the
                               Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, and Professor of History, University of Virginia 

"Rick Britton has written an engaging introduction to notable Virginians of the past, Virginians who deserve to be known by today’s residents. Stories of personal courage, initiative, and innovation are all found in these fascinating vignettes—well worth the read; well worth emulation."
                    -- Col. Keith Gibson, Director of the V.M.I. Museum System


& Events in Central Virginia History (Volume 1) 


ISBN 978-1-942882-02-2  |  Paperback  |  140 pgs  |  6 x 9  |   $12.00

Publication Date:  April 1, 2015

      Featured Essays:

  • From Cuckoo Tavern to Charlottesville: Jack Jouett's Overnight Ride
  • Dolley Madison at Montpelier: The Very Essence of Fine Virginia Hospitality
  • "A Multitude of Novel Follies": Edgar Allan Poe at the University of Virginia
  • "A Choir of the Whole": Black Baptist Churches of Charlottesville & Albemarle
  • Benjamin Franklin Ficklin: Thrill-seeker Extraordinaire
  • "A Most Fearful Calamity": The 1895 U.V.a. Rotunda Fire
  • A "New Deal" in the Sky: The CCC & the Building of the Skyline Drive
  • "Best Enemy-Fighter in the World": The Frank Dabney Peregoy Story
A historian of the Old Dominion, RICK BRITTON specializes in 18th- and 19th-century Virginia history. Two of his main areas of expertise are the American Civil War (over 60 percent of which was fought in Virginia), and the life and times of our third president, Thomas Jefferson.
          Along with his writing and editing, Rick conducts tours of Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields, teaches classes on the history of Virginia, organizes history programming for the Senior Center Inc. of Charlottesville, illustrates maps for history books and websites, and lectures frequently on a wide range of Virginia history topics.
          With over 200 published articles and essays under his belt, he's the author of Virginia Vignettes: Famous Characters & Events in Central Virginia History (Vol. 1),  Albemarle & Charlottesville: An Illustrated History, and Jefferson: A Monticello Sampler (which was awarded a medal for non-fiction at New York City’s Book Expo, the nation’s largest book convention).


LISTEN TO RICK>> Rick Britton's Central Virginia history lectures archived at the Charlottesville Podcasting Network (HERE).

Rick Britton