"Stories with a Moral is a fine and fascinating work that caresses meaning out of sometimes obscure literary works, retelling the stories that nineteenth-century Georgians told about Georgia and explaining how they reflect social, economic, and political change during the time."
—Mart A. Stewart, author of "What Nature Suffers to Groe": Life, Labor, and Landscape on the Georgia Coast, 1680–1920
Stories with a Moral is the first comprehensive study of the effects of plantation society on literature and the influences of literature on social practices in nineteenth-century Georgia. During the years of frontier settlement, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, Georgia authors voiced their support for the slave system, the planter class, and the ideals of the Confederacy, presenting a humorous, passionate, and at times tragic view of a rapidly changing world. Michael E. Price examines works of fiction, travel accounts, diaries, and personal letters in this thorough survey of King Cotton’s literary influence, showing how Georgia authors romanticized agrarian themes to present an appealing image of plantation economy and social structure. Stories with a Moral focuses on the importance of literature as a mode of ideological communication. Even more significant, the book shows how the writing of one century shaped the development of social practices and beliefs that persist, in legend and memory, to this day.
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