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Beaufort, South Carolina:: A History (Definitive History) Paperback – January 6, 2005
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I've been to Beaufort (and plan to go back many times) and it is a silent oasis in the Low Country. Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets on the East Coast. The little town has a charm all its own. What a wonderful place.
I read Helsley's book mainly for the history up to 1899. I was not disappointed. There are a lot of details that have whetted my appetite to keep digging.
I appreciate the quality of paper the book is printed on. The only real criticism I have is that the book could use some maps. Besides that, sit back and enjoy the wonderful stories going back to the 16th century and have fun looking through some very rare and interesting photographs liberally sprinkled throughout the text.
For some decent maps the reader will have to pick up a copy of Beaufort, South Carolina: Pages from the Past (American Chronicles).
However, step into the 50's and 60's and all you get is a personal perspective from the author on her own family's history in the town. Every picture, every anecdote involves the author's father, brother, or self. And her sense of self-importance is a little inflated, in my opinion. The books suffers for it.
I'm a Beaufort native and can tell you there are no longer any Jones family members even in the area - their time here was relatively short and not completely as impacting as she would lead you to believe given the numerous paragraphs relating to her father and his career.
She simply should have stopped the "history" portion of the book at 1960. The rest could have been turned into another book clearly identified as a memoir rather than a true historical account.
It's just a matter of presenting unbiased fact, which the author clearly has a problem with.