Academic journal article The Arkansas Historical Quarterly

Life in the Leatherwoods: John Quincy Wolf

Academic journal article The Arkansas Historical Quarterly

Life in the Leatherwoods: John Quincy Wolf

Article excerpt

Life in the Leatherwoods: John Quincy Wolf Edited by Gene Hyde and Brooks Blevins. (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2000. Pp. xxvi, 219. Introduction, illustrations, afterword, appendix, index. $20.00, paper.)

John Quincy Wolf's Life in the Leatherwoods, one of the most readable Ozark memoirs, has recently appeared in this, its third, edition. Originally a series of newspaper articles, it was put in book form by Wolf's son, John Quincy Wolf, Jr., and his wife, Bess, and published in 1974 by Memphis State University Press. Although the book sold well, legal problems prevented Memphis State from continuing the volume after three printings. In 1988, August House brought out a second edition; ten years later, in 1998, the publishing rights reverted back to Bess Wolf.

This University of Arkansas Press edition is by far the best of the three, mainly because it contains much material not in the first two editions. Not the least of these additions is a valuable introduction by editors Gene Hyde and Brooks Blevins that discusses Wolf's life and career and that of his son, places the book within the context of other works on Ozark history, and provides a brief account of the publishing history of Wolf's volume. Presented in three sections, this new edition includes the complete 1974 text as published by Memphis State University Press unintruded on by notes or commentary. It is followed by a selection of additional Leatherwoods writings originally intended as part of the book but for some reason omitted by John Quincy Wolf, Jr. from the 1974 manuscript. These pages often expand upon the original text. A third section consists of "My Fifty Years in Batesville," which takes up Wolf's narrative after his move to Batesville in 1887. Originally appearing as a series of articles in the Batesville News-Review in 1937, the Batesville writings were published in their entirety in 1981 and 1982 in the Independence County Chronicle, the journal of the Independence County Historical Society. …

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