"A fascinating book, important to our understanding of the literature and culture of the American South, well researched and filled with new and sometimes startling material. Until I read it I didn't realize how much I didn't know about what was going on in Charleston back then."
—Louis D. Rubin Jr., author of My Father's People: A Family of Southern Jews
Presenting a long overdue assessment of this literary and artistic movement, Renaissance in Charleston re-creates the historical, social, economic, and political contexts through which its central participants moved. Discussed are such figures as John Bennett, Josephine Pinckney, Beatrice Ravenel, DuBose Heyward, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Elizabeth O'Neill Verner, Alfred Hutty, Julia Peterkin, Laura Bragg, and Edwin A. Harleston.
The essays tell how these and other individuals faced the tensions and contradictions of their time and place. While some traced their lineage back to the city's first families, others were relative newcomers. Some broke new ground racially and sexually as well as artistically; others perpetuated the myths of the Old South. Some were censured at home but praised in New York, London, and Paris. The essays also underscore the significance and growth of such cultural institutions as the Poetry Society of South Carolina, the Charleston Museum, and the Gibbes Art Gallery.
A generation after the passing of most artists and writers involved in the Charleston Renaissance, a new generation of scholars has finally come to terms with its legacy.
List price: $46.95
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