It is legend, the
burning of the Styx. For over a hundred years the destruction of a
black community on the blossoming new island of Palm Beach has been
folklore. Historic photos prove the Styx existed, but century old
memories muddle the truth of its demise.
What happened to a rag tag
collection of homes and rooming houses that once sheltered the great
Henry Flagler's hotel workers at the turn of the 19th century? The
legend is steeped in rumor, but the racism of the age, the uncommon
wealth and privilege that came to the wilderness of Florida, and the
greedy scramble to grab a piece of a new Eden, are undeniable truths.
Jonathon King's novel, The Styx, is a fictional story of
what happened in the later years of the 1890s when the great migration
to Florida changed the state forever. With deft descriptions of New
York's lower east side, the wild-west towns and villages of a newly
discovered Florida, and the majesty of Palm Beach's new Royal Poinciana
hotel, King tells a story of murder and cover-ups, power turned greedy,
society women behaving badly, and good people doing what good people
must always do to build a real civilization.
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