The Private Mary Chesnut: The Unpublished Civil War Diaries / Edition 1

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Overview

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian C. Vann Woodward and Chesnut's biographer Elisabeth Muhlenfeld present here the previously unpublished Civil War diaries of Mary Boykin Chesnut. The ideal diarist, Mary Chesnut was at the right place at the right time with the right connections. Daughter of one senator from South Carolina and wife of another, she had kin and friends all over the Confederacy and knew intimately its political and military leaders. At Montgomery when the new nation was founded, at Charleston when the war started, and at Richmond during many crises, she traveled extensively during the war. She watched a world "literally kicked to pieces" and left the most vivid account we have of the death throes of a society. The diaries, filled with personal revelations and indiscretions, are indispensable to an appreciation of our most famous Southern literary insight into the Civil War experience.

The diaries, filled with personal revelations and indiscretions, are indispensable to an appreciation of our most famous Southern literary insight into the Civil War experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Now all those interested in American history can fully recapture one of the most illuminating figures in our past...an indispensable, expertly edited volume."—William W. Freehling, The Johns Hopkins University

"This highly personal record has more historical substance than can be found in many textbooks."—Henry Nash Smith

"Woodward and Muhlenfeld present a meticulously edited volume....The result is an extremely clean and easily readable text."—Journal of Southern History

"The wealth of experience that [Woodward and Muhlenfeld] brought to this formidable task has predictably resulted in a first-rate contribution to Civil War literature."—Louisiana History

"Chesnut's diaries have genuine intrinsic value as a source of information about the wartime South. Furthermore...they mirror her very soul!"—The Centennial Review

"[Chesnut] was a witty, intelligent woman....She combined devotion to the Confederate cause with an utter detestation of slavery....What survives of a much longer original text is presented in this well-annotated edition."—The Atlantic

"At long last scholars have the Chesnut diaries as they were originally written, an indispensable adjunct to Woodward's magnificent edition of her expanded journal....The exhaustive editing and insightful preface make this book essential for specialists."—Library Journal

"Her surviving original diaries, more personal, intimate and spontaneous...are essential to an appreciation of the most famous Southern literary insight on the Civil War experience."—Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195035131
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/1984
  • Series: Galaxy Book Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,000,728
  • Product dimensions: 9.19 (w) x 6.06 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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