Heaven and Hell (Jakes)

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Heaven and Hell (OT: Heaven and Hell ) is a historical novel by the American author John Jakes from 1987. It is the continuation of the novels The Heirs of Cain and Love and War from 1982 and 1984 and the conclusion of the trilogy about the Hazard and Main families in the period before, during and after the American Civil War . Heaven and Hell depicts the fate of the Hazards and the Main after the end of the American Civil War.


After the Civil War, the Hazards and the Main went through the arduous era of Reconstruction . The focus of the plot is now Charles Main, who takes part in wars against rebellious Indians in the west. In Pennsylvania , Georges Hazard's wife Constance is murdered by his old adversary Elkanah Bent, while Orry Main's widow Madeline tries to rebuild the Mains plantation, Mont Royal , in South Carolina under difficult economic and political conditions . She is attacked by the Ku Klux Klan, among others . Her sister-in-law Ashton tries to take possession of the plantation, which can only be prevented thanks to the unexpected help of Virgilia Hazard. Charles Main poses and hangs Elkanah Bent, who kidnapped Charles Main's son Gus.

It was not until the World's Fair in Philadelphia in 1876 that the Main and Hazard families were reunited; the widowed George Hazard falls in love with Madeline, widow of his best friend Orry Main.

The end of the novel jumps to the year 1883 when the sons of Charles Main, who is now a successful rancher in Texas , and Billy Hazard, now a realtor in California , enroll in the West Point Military Academy , like Orry Main and George Hazard forty-one years earlier.


Charles Main

Charles Main is a traumatized civil war veteran and wants to join the cavalry in the west, but initially fails to do so due to his past in the Confederate Army. He joins the merchant Adolphus, who does business with the Indian tribes of the St. Louis area, and meets the young actress and Indian rights activist Willa Park in St. Louis. When his business partner is murdered by Cheyenne Indians , Charles rejoins the cavalry, where he briefly serves under General George Armstrong Custer . His relationship with Willa Park initially fails because of his bitterness. Only a senseless massacre of Indians under General Custer opens his eyes; he frees his kidnapped son and reunites with Willa, becomes a rancher in Texas.

Madeline Main

Madeline is the widow of Orry Main, who died in the Civil War. She manages the Mont Royal plantation, which she plans to rebuild after its destruction. When she plans to start a school for blacks there, she falls out with Orry's older brother Cooper. Because of her ancestry, one of her great-grandmothers was black, she is facing increasing reprisals. Despite all adversities, she manages to rebuild Mont Royal. At the end of the novel, she gets together with George Hazard, although she still only loves the late Orry.

George Hazard

George Hazard is the owner of Hazard Iron Works in Lehigh Station, Pennsylvania and a graduate of West Point Military Academy , 41 years old at the beginning of the novel. He is married to Constance, who is murdered by Elkanah Bent. He then moved to Europe for a few years. After his return from Europe he took an active part in the organization of the 1876 World's Fair, where he organized a family reunion for the Hazards and Mains. Shortly after this he confesses his love to Madeline and the two become a couple.

Cooper Main

Cooper is the older brother of the late Orry Main. He is the heir of the Mont Royal plantation, which was destroyed in the Civil War, and has ceded its management to his sister-in-law Madeline. He himself tried to rebuild his shipping company in Charleston , which was assigned to the war of the Confederation, and developed an increasing hatred of the numerous released and unwilling to work colored people as well as the increasing political influences from the northern states. He is increasingly estranged from his wife Judith and casts his daughter Marie-Louise out when she falls in love with the Northern States officer Theo German and marries him. He falls out with Madeline because she is first building a school for colored people on Mont Royal and then mining phosphate on Mont Royal with the help of investors from the north . He sells Mont Royal to his sister Ashton, who then does not quite voluntarily transfer it to Madeline.

Virgilia Hazard

Virgilia, George's one year older sister, who once broke with her family as a radical abolitionist , advocates equality for slaves released after the war. After the death of his wife, she is reconciled with her brother George and begins a liaison with her employer, the colored orphanage owner Sipico Brown, whom she later marries. When a telegram arrives at Lehigh Station from the desperate Madeline who threatens to lose Mont Royal, she travels to South Carolina and manages, together with Charles Main, that Mont Royal remains in the family's possession.

Ashton Huntoon, b. Main

Ashton is Cooper's younger sister, who has been disowned by the family. After her late husband James Huntoon disinherited her before his death, she initially lives alone and penniless as a prostitute in Santa Fe and seeks revenge against her family. She takes advantage of a suitor, the piano maker Will Fenway, to flee the brothel. With Fenway's help, she manages to get wealthy again and tries to appropriate her home, Mont Royal; Virgilia and Charles prevent this with a ruse. Her marriage to Fenway fails and she runs a brothel in Chicago in 1876.

Stanley Hazard

Stanley is the older brother of George. He's a government official in Washington and has a drinking problem. On the advice of the politician Simon Cameron , whom he has supported financially for years, he leaves his wife Isabel when it is discovered that she is involved in dishonest business in the south.

Billy and Brett Hazard

William "Billy" Hazard is the youngest son of the Hazard family. After the end of his military career, he goes to California as a building contractor with his pregnant wife Brett, née Main.

Elkanah Bent

Bent is an old nemesis of the Hazards and Mains. After a serious injury that he sustained in the fight with Orry Main, mentally unstable, he seeks revenge on the families. He murders Constance Hazard and kidnaps Charles' son. Charles tracks him down and kills him.


Heaven and Hell entered the New York Times bestseller list at number 8 in 1987 and then rose to number 2 on the bestseller list. It was the fifth best-selling novel in the United States in 1987.

The German-language first edition was published in 1988 by Bastei-Lübbe .


The novel was filmed in 1994 as a three-part miniseries under the title Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III . In Germany and Austria this ran as the thirteenth to fifteenth episode or third season of the series Fackeln im Sturm .

Compared to the film adaptation of the first two volumes, Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III met with heavy criticism. A major problem was that the film adaptation of the first two volumes, which were filmed before the appearance of Heaven and Hell , had a self-contained plot that was now difficult to tie in with. Also, some actors from the 1985/86 film adaptation were no longer available, including Lewis Smith , whose character Charles Main played a significant role in the third season, was replaced by Kyle Chandler . In order to be able to continue the plot logically, the character Orry Main had to die at the beginning of Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III , as he had actually died during the second volume. With Orry played by Patrick Swayze , the series lost an important popular figure. It was also necessary to subsequently introduce the character Cooper Main, who was not mentioned in the film adaptation of the first volumes, but was essential for the plot of the third volume.

Like the film adaptation of Love and War , the film adaptation differs from the novel in numerous details. In the novel, for example, Cooper does not join the Ku Klux clan and is not killed; it is also he who mines phosphate on Mont Royal in place of Madeline. The characters Virgilia Hazard, Andy Sherman and Marie-Louise Main do not appear in the film adaptation; George hunts and places Bent in the film version together with Charles instead of staying in Europe and in the film version falls in love with Madeline not until 1876, but shortly after Constance's death. Instead of Virgilia, Will Fenway prevents Ashton from receiving Mont Royal, which will not be rebuilt during the film plot.