Jesse Stuart Cradle of the Copperheads

ISBN 13: 9780070623668

Cradle of the Copperheads

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9780070623668: Cradle of the Copperheads

There is an old eloquent, and perhaps na´ve folk expression which I have not heard much in recent years. People used to say, "I've got Christmas in my bones." It indicates a feeling which stirs-or should stir-in the human marrow at the approach of and throughout the Christmas season. It is a warm, gentle excitement, a quiet rejoicing merriment that comes from deep inside and fills the heart and tingles the blood. It comes from seeing clear winter nights filled with crisp air and brilliant stars, from bright windows in homes and shops, from candles and tinsel and gay packages and children's faces. I've got Christmas in my bones. Thus does Mutt Burton begin this warm and gentle book about his lifelong passion for Christmas and all its trappings. Burton, a Christmas scholar and an ardent promoter of the Twelve Days of Christmas, writes about every aspect of the season, including Christmas history and lore. More importantly, he reminisces about his family's Christmas traditions and his own joyous experiences, never losing sight of the important message that is at the heart of Christmas: love.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Previously unpublished, this is Stuart's first novel, written in 1932 and covering the frustrating, tumultuous year he spent as superintendent of the Greenup County, Ky., schools before deciding to return to Nashville to devote himself to writing. Just out of Vanderbilt University, Shan Stringer is appointed head of Wonder County schools and is immediately thrown into a vicious struggle against a corrupt political system headed by former superintendent Ace Ruggles and his courthouse cronies. Shan also spends much of the bitterly cold winter traversing the eastern Kentucky hill country, working to bring a basic level of comfort to the impoverished rural schools hard hit by the Depression. The narrative is loosely structured, episodic, uneven and full of spontaneous and lyrical poetry. It romanticizes the people of Appalachia, seen by Stuart as primitive, yet living in harmony with nature and unspoiled by the corruption of outside society. His rough-hewn farmers are natural storytellers and their yarn spinning is an integral part of the book. This hill country would provide Stuart (The Thread That Runs So True) with a rich literary tradition and with characters that became uniquely his own. (January
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This autobiographical epic comes from an early manuscript penned while Stuart attended Vanderbilt (1931-32) to study under the Agrarians. Some 900 pages long and thus unpublishable, it has been carefully edited and chronologically sorted. The result is a posthumous novel that displays Stuart's enduring literary tenets: ambling plot, rural idiom and folkways, earthy characters, smalltown and country scenes, and the artful use of poetry in prose narrative. Stuart's own conflicts are seen in protagonist Shan Stringer's fiery passion to write and economic necessity to farm. A work that offers biting satire, rich irony, and a long gaze at Stuart's maturation. Edward C. Lynskey , Documentation, Atlantic Research Corp., Alexandria, Va.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Jesse Stuart; Editor-Paul Douglass
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