Published by the University of South Carolina Press, 2010. 225pp. 6.25 x 9.25 inches. Hardcover. ISBN 978-1-57003-954-6.
Carolina Christmas collects for the first time holiday stories of Archibald Rutledge (1883–1973), one of the most prolific outdoor and nature writers of the twentieth century and the first poet laureate of South Carolina. Some of Rutledge's finest writing revolves around his vivid memories of hunt, hearth, and holidays. These memories are celebrated in this keepsake collection of enduring stories and poems, further augmented with traditional recipes and food lore associated with the season.
Archibald Rutledge spent decades teaching at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. All the while he supplemented his income through his writings in order to support a growing family and restoration efforts at Hampton Plantation, his ancestral home in coastal South Carolina — now a state historic site. Each Christmas, Rutledge returned to his cherished Hampton Plantation for hunting, celebrations of the season, and renewal of his decidedly Southern soul. This annual migration home meant the opportunity to enjoy hunting and communion with nature — so vitall important to him — and to renew acquaintances with those living on neighboring plantations and with the African American community he immortalized in his book God's Children.
Rutledge wrote dozens of stories and poems revolving around the Hampton Hunt, fellowship with family and friends, the serenity of the winter woods, and his appetite for seasonal Southern foodways. Edited by Jim Casada, this collection highlights the very best of Rutledge's holiday tales in a vibrant tapestry through which Christmas runs as a bright, sparkling thread. In these tales of Christmas past — each representative of the author's sterling literary reputation and continuing popularity — Rutledge guides us once more into a world of traditions now largely lost. But to tread those forgotten trails once more, to sample and savor the foods he loved , and to experience vicariously the sport he so enjoyed is to experience the wonder of yesteryear.
Jim Casada, a retired history professor, is one of the country's most widely published outdoor writers. He has written or edited more than forty books, contributed to many others, and authored some five thousand magazine articles. A longtime student of Archibald Rutledge, Casada has edited four previous Rutledge anthologies — Hunting and Home in the Southern Heartland; Tales of Whitetails; America's Greatest Game Bird; and Bird Dog Days, Wingshooting Ways. Casada has been honored with more than 150 regional and national awards for his writing, including the Federation of Fly Fishermen's Arnold Gingrich Memorial Award, the National Wild Turkey Federation's Communicator of the Year Award, and the South Carolina Wildlife Federation's Harry R.E. Hampton Memorial Award. A past president of the South Carolina Outdoor Writers Association, the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, and the Outdoor Writers Association of America, he serves as editor at large for Sporting Classics and Turkey & Turkey Hunting magazines. Casada lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
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