Prolific author made his home at The Briars

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Posted: November 30, 2013

The Winchester Star

Lawyer-turned-author John Esten Cooke became the owner of The Briars by marrying Mary Frances Page, whose family built the house. He is considered one of Virginia’s most prolific writers of the 19th century.
A Virginia Historic Marker for The Briars is on Lord Fairfax Highway (U.S. 340) just north of Boyce.
John Esten Cooke

BOYCE — His life reads like one of his own books.

John Esten Cooke, born in 1830, was a lawyer who wanted to be a writer. But just as he began to publish, the Civil War broke out and he donned a…



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