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Mary Chesnut's Illustrated Diary: Mulberry Edition (2 Volume Set) Hardcover – Box set, September 28, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The photograph album will afford both Chesnut scholars, students of American culture and literature, and Civil War buffs alike an absolute treasure trove of primary source material to study and celebrate. In this two-volume collection, Daniels reanimates Chesnut's ambition to share her epic view of the great tragedy of Civil War as we never have seen it vivified before." --Julia Stern, Northwestern University, author of "Mary Chesnut's Civil War Epic"

"An engrossing work! I was fascinated by the saga of the cartes de visite . . . this conveys the excitement of the hunt, and more importantly it is clear to me that Chesnut's careful amassing of these photographs evidences the seriousness over many years with which she worked on a publishable version of her journals." --Elisabeth Muhlenfeld, biographer of Mary Chesnut, former president of Sweet Briar College, chairman of the American Civil War Center

From the Publisher

Title: Mary Chesnut's Illustrated Diary Mulberry Edition Boxed Set Subtitle: Volume 1: A Diary from Dixie and Volume 2: Mary Chesnut's Civil War Photograph Album Volume 1 author: Mary Boykin Chesnut Volume 1 foreword: Martha M. Daniels Volume 2 authors: Martha M. Daniels and Barbara E. McCarthy Volume 2 foreword: James Everett Kibler
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing; Slp Ill edition (September 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589808533
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589808539
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 7.7 x 3.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,069,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D_shrink VINE VOICE on March 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a nicely bound two volume set consisting of Mary's Diary in volume I, 400pp, and an accompanying photo album in Volume II 457pp. The set is printed on high quality glossy paper, which helps the 200 plus B/W photos included in volume two to stand out. They are mostly carte de visites, but as with the smaller size of graphics in volume I there are a few paintings, etchings, drawings and other forms of art included.

Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut was as southern grand dame of the civil war era. She was a confederate sympathizer as one would expect due to her lineage and the fact that her husband was a US Senator representing SC who resigned to take a position in the Confederacy and also held a position as a Maj. Gen in the CSA. The primary period covered by the book was from about 1840-1880, although historical facts and diary entries were made before and after those dates. It should be known that although Mary strongly supported the South's right to secession and states rights, she stated she was against slavery and found it abhorrent, although she and her husband and their families owned slaves throughout much of the period of her writings. The reader will have to rectify those opposing opinions for himself/herself.

Mary's husband James died in 1885, followed five days later by her mother, with Mary following on 11-22-1886, due to a heart condition.

Mary's writing always seems to be in a superlative descriptive voice e.g. ( he was the grandest, most handsome, most talented; she was the loveliest, and etc.) This may seem a bit overdone today, but would have been a more typical speech pattern of the times when written.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This publication has two volumes in a handsome boxed set. Its accomplishment lies solely in the volume that contains a set of photographs belonging to Mary Chesnut that had been lost to her descendants for decades until 2007. For those who have read her account of her experiences during the Civil War, it is a valuable contribution, because most of the people in the photos are mentioned in the book. The photo album not only reproduces the photographs, but also includes well-written mini-biographies of the persons in the photos.

The other volume is a major disappointment. It is a reprint, on fine-quality paper, of a woefully deficient edition of Chesnut's manuscript that was published more than a century ago. Chesnut had kept diaries of her experiences during the war, and after the war she wanted to publish the accounts in a style that was more literary than the jottings in her diaries. She died in 1886 before she was able to finish the manuscript, and her close friend Isabella Martin finally published a version of it in 1905. The published version, however, contained only one-third of the manuscript and deliberately omitted passages that Martin was afraid would give offense to Southerners. This, unfortunately, is the version of the manuscript that is reprinted in the boxed set. It was rendered obsolete and misleading more than thirty years ago by the Pulitzer-prize-winning 1981 edition of the manuscript by C. Van Woodward, which restored the vast amount of information that is missing in the Martin edition of 1905. Moreover, soon after he published his book, Woodward collaborated with Chesnut's biographer Elizabeth Muhlenfeld to publish an edition of the original diaries from which Chesnut worked while developing the manuscript that she wanted to publish.
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Format: Hardcover
After Several Editions of Mary Chesnuts' seminal work, the Mulberry Edtion finally discovered out how to present this incredible history. Meshing obscure and famous people's photographs alongside the pertinent texts makes context and content more fathomable than any previous rendition. In 70 years of reading, this reviewer has never previously seen such clear, crisp, insightful biographical sketches;each quickly identifies the individual, relates him or her to the diarist, to others and to the Civil War usually in a single poignant paragraph. If you want to "live" the civil War through the eyes (and heart and head) of somone who lived at the center of it, these two great volumes are a must must read!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was lucky enough to meet Ms McDaniel's recently at a book signing. She brought the diary alive through her wonderful presentation and background history of the compiling of such a personal look at a tragic episode in America's history. I would highly recommend this book to anyone - non-Civil War readers as myself and especially recommend the set as a must for all Civil War collections.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a shame that this lovely set of books contains the diary as edited for publication in the late 1800's rather than than the one that C. Vann Woodward put together with that diary and fragments of other writings of Mrs. Chesnut. That has been noted by other reviewers, however if one can only get the photographs of Buck and others with this purchase so be it. Putting faces to many of the names in Mrs. Chesnut's diary makes it all worth while to me.
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