Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Mary Chesnut's Illustrated Diary

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Mary Chesnut's Illustrated Diary

Article excerpt

Mary Chesnut's Illustrated Diary. Volume 1: Mary Chesnut's Diary from Dixie. By Mary Boykin Chesnut. Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary. Foreword by Martha M. Daniels. Volume 2: Mary Chesnut's Civil War Photograph Album. By Martha M. Daniels and Barbara E. McCarthy. Foreword by James Everett Kibler. (Gretna, La.: Pelican Publishing Company, 2011. Pp. 400; 457. Two-volume boxed set, $75.00, ISBN 978-1-58980-S53-9.) Mary Boykin Chesnut's Civil War diary is arguably one of the most famous accounts of the war, and now thanks to the work of her descendants, Chesnut's personal photograph album is available for public consumption. Mary Chesnut's Illustrated Diary is composed of two large coffee-table volumes; the first contains Chesnut's diary as it was published in 1905, and the second includes the photographs of Civil War-era figures that Chesnut and her family collected from the 1860s to the 1880s. In the foreword to the first volume, Chesnut descendant and coeditor Martha M. Daniels elucidates how scholars and novelists have used the original diary in the years since it was first published. This version of the diary is the same as the 1905 edition, except with illustrations and pictures of some of the people and places that Chesnut writes about placed in the margins of the pages.

What makes this latest edition of Chesnut's Civil War diary so compelling and worthy of such a large two-volume set is the addition of Chesnut's collection of photographs. …

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