Glory of the Silver King: The Golden Age of Tarpon Fishing

Glory of the Silver King: The Golden Age of Tarpon Fishing

by Hart Stilwell
     
 

A tribute to a fish, a sport, and a time now past . . .
 
Through a series of chance encounters over several years, fishing guide and journalist Brandon Shuler unearthed multiple drafts of a nearly finished manuscript by an almost forgotten Texas sports writer, Hart Stilwell. Titled “Glory of the Silver King,”the manuscript vividly captured

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Overview

A tribute to a fish, a sport, and a time now past . . .
 
Through a series of chance encounters over several years, fishing guide and journalist Brandon Shuler unearthed multiple drafts of a nearly finished manuscript by an almost forgotten Texas sports writer, Hart Stilwell. Titled “Glory of the Silver King,”the manuscript vividly captured the history of tarpon and snook fishing on the Texas and Mexico Gulf Coast from the 1930s to the end of Stilwell’s life in the early 1970s.
 
Stilwell was a seasoned outdoors journalist with a passion for salt-water fishing. Now, with Shuler’s careful research, editing, and annotation, this lost manuscript has found new life as both an entertaining “fish tale” and a historical snapshot of a region’s natural heritage. It successfully conveys the thrill of fishing for these once abundant species at the same time it tracks—and laments—the rise, decline, and eventual fall of their fisheries in Texas (which Shuler is able to report are now experiencing a rebound).
 
In a personal and informative introduction, Shuler paints a portrait of Stilwell and tells the story of the discovery and evolution of the manuscript. He also provides a look into his own life as an angler and writer, creating a connection with Stilwell that gives the work authenticity and relevance.
 
Anglers will delight in Stilwell’s rollicking prose. Environmentalists will appreciate the book’s lesson in ocean conservation. For all who live on or near the Gulf Coast, Glory of the Silver King reintroduces a forgotten literary treasure and a magnificent fish that once filled the waters at our favorite coastal retreats.

"Hart Stilwell was a world-class raconteur and storyteller. His unpublished manuscript on the glory days of coastal fishing became an underground legend, passed around like a sacred totem for decades. Editor Brandon Shuler has revived Stilwell’s folksy charm and penetrating insights, and the result is this engaging and important book."--Steven L. Davis, curator, The Wittliff Collections

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Editorial Reviews

The Wittliff Collections

Hart Stilwell was a world-class raconteur and storyteller. His unpublished manuscript on the glory days of coastal fishing became an underground legend, passed around like a sacred totem for decades. Editor Brandon Shuler has revived Stilwell’s folksy charm and penetrating insights, and the result is this engaging and important book."--Steven L. Davis, curator, The Wittliff Collections

— Steven L. Davis

Reader

Hart Stilwell was a world-class raconteur and storyteller. His unpublished manuscript on the glory days of coastal fishing became an underground legend, passed around like a sacred totem for decades. Editor Brandon Shuler has revived Stilwell’s folksy charm and penetrating insights, and the result is this engaging and important book."--Steven L. Davis, curator, The Wittliff Collections

— Steven L. Davis

fishinghistory.blogspot.com

"...a love letter to Tarpon and Texas...an excellent writer with a sharp wit...it would have been a great tragedy indeed if this book had not been published at all...I can't recommend this book more highly. It is a must for anyone who loves classic outdoor writing...kudos to Shuler and Texas A&M for their hard work in bringing this to print"--Dr. Todd Larson, Fishing for History blog

— Dr. Todd Larson

Statesman.com

"On one level, the book is a jumbled tackle box of 'me and Joe'-sstyle fishing tales of tarpon and snook fishing from well down the Mexican coast all the way up to the Brazos River in Texas, it also chronicles how Stilwell learned to catch these often massive fish as well as offering occasional shiny spoons of wisdom and prophecy that anyone interested in Texas coastal fishing will enjoy."

"Tarpon are bony and not considered an edible game fish, but 'Glory of the Silver King' has plenty of meat."--Mike Cox, statesman.com

— Mike Cox

Western American Literature

"This is a fun read. Stilwell's book is a valuable addition to a sometimes overlooked area of western literature about Texas: literary outdoor writing."--Maria O'Connell, Western American Literature

— Maria O'Connell

Reader - Steven L. Davis

" Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Hart Stilwell was a world-class raconteur and storyteller. His unpublished manuscript on the glory days of coastal fishing became an underground legend, passed around like a sacred totem for decades. Editor Brandon Shuler has revived Stilwell’s folksy charm and penetrating insights, and the result is this engaging and important book."--Steven L. Davis, curator, The Wittliff Collections

fishinghistory.blogspot.com - Todd Larson
"...a love letter to Tarpon and Texas...an excellent writer with a sharp wit...it would have been a great tragedy indeed if this book had not been published at all...I can't recommend this book more highly. It is a must for anyone who loves classic outdoor writing...kudos to Shuler and Texas A&M for their hard work in bringing this to print"—Dr. Todd Larson, Fishing for History blog
Statesman.com - Mike Cox

"On one level, the book is a jumbled tackle box of 'me and Joe'-sstyle fishing tales of tarpon and snook fishing from well down the Mexican coast all the way up to the Brazos River in Texas, it also chronicles how Stilwell learned to catch these often massive fish as well as offering occasional shiny spoons of wisdom and prophecy that anyone interested in Texas coastal fishing will enjoy."

"Tarpon are bony and not considered an edible game fish, but 'Glory of the Silver King' has plenty of meat."--Mike Cox, statesman.com

Western American Literature - Maria O'Connell

"This is a fun read. Stilwell's book is a valuable addition to a sometimes overlooked area of western literature about Texas: literary outdoor writing."--Maria O'Connell, Western American Literature

fishinghistory.blogspot.com - Dr. Todd Larson

"...a love letter to Tarpon and Texas...an excellent writer with a sharp wit...it would have been a great tragedy indeed if this book had not been published at all...I can't recommend this book more highly. It is a must for anyone who loves classic outdoor writing...kudos to Shuler and Texas A&M for their hard work in bringing this to print"--Dr. Todd Larson, Fishing for History blog

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603442671
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2011
Series:
Gulf Coast Books, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Series, #19
Pages:
152
Sales rank:
927,250
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.80(d)

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Meet the Author

HART STILWELL (1902--1975) was a Texas writer who wrote stories and articles for Esquire, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, and Sports Afield in the 1940s and 50s. A contemporary of J. Frank Dobie’s, he was a regular contributor to newspapers across Texas and also wrote three novels and two works of nonfiction. BRANDON SHULER is a professional fishing guide and freelance writer. A resident of Pharr, Texas, he is currently pursuing graduate studies in Lubbock.

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