Thursday, May 10, 2012
2 Great Book Reviews: Life After J.E.B. Stuarts and Civil War Sketch Book: Drawings from the Battlefront
I'm back and I have a couple great book reviews to tell you about. I know...I have been slow in getting anything posted but life in the Evans household has been very busy so my book reading time does dwindle down some but I still get the books read. I will have some exciting news later this summer coming from Williamsburg, VA. They have opened several new redoubts for the public to visit, number 1, 3, and 6. The actual battle was fought on redoubt number 16 but it's on private land so can't get to it. Now on to the reviews! The first book is titled: “Life After J.E.B. Stuarts the Memoirs of his Granddaughter, Marrow Stuart Smith. Edited by Sean M. Heuvel. The story is put together with the memoirs that Marrow wrote throughout her life time and before of the stories her grandmother told her about her grandfather, Confederate Cavalry leader J.E.B. Stuart. She begins when the Stuarts came to America in 1729 and ends around 1950 when she stopped writing. No one really knows why she stopped there. Upon the death of J.E.B. Stuart, Flora his wife had to go to work. She landed the position of headmistress of a girl’s boarding school, which is now called “Stuart Hall.” In those days of Marrow’s growing years she was expected to go to college but the career chooses for women were numbered. Basically you would become a school teacher but Marrow had other dreams. Growing up she loved to draw and wanted to become an artist. She had a tough challenge ahead of her but she made it with all the ups and downs that came along. As you will read, she will become an inspiration to any young person facing the challenges of making something of themselves even in today’s world. Marrow was an ambitious and energetic woman. She landed an art teaching position, married and had a baby in 1917. Her husband, Drewry, I guess you can say a wonderer. He went from job to job but it seemed the majority of their marriage was a happy one. They had hard times; especially when their house burned and they lost everything. But Marrow was a fighter. Guess she inherited that! I have to say that Sean Heuvel did a great job in putting her memoirs into story form. You won’t have any problem following along. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in women’s history also anyone interested in what became of J.E.B. Stuart’s family after the Civil War. The second book I have for you is a Coffee-Table Book that I think you are really going to like. The tittle is: Civil War Sketch Book: Drawings from the Battlefront. By Harry L. Katz, Vincent Virga. This amazing coffee-table book is filled with 250 drawings and illustrations that are in full color. As you follow along in chronological order you will see the majority of the drawings are from soldiers who had submitted them to newspapers at the time the battles happened so, many of these drawing have never been seen before now. There are the usual illustrations that any Civil War readers will recognize but what is also great about this particular book is you will learn about the artist, what they were seeing at the point they were drawing plus you will read exactly where the drawing is located today so you can go see the original in person if you choose. This is extremely rare since most drawings are kept hidden away in archives or family members’ homes. This is truly a stunning book! I know anyone Civil War historian and/or Civil War buff will truly enjoy having this Coffee-Table book in their collection.