Catherine Spalding, SCN: A Life in Letters by Mary Ellen Doyle. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2017. Pp. xix, 336. $50.00 cloth; $50.00 ebook)
This edited and annotated collection of the writings of Catherine Spalding, a nineteenth-century leader in the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, in Nazareth near Bardstown and in Louisville, Kentucky, pairs nicely with Mary Ellen Doyle's previous biography of Spalding, Pioneer Spirit. The collection includes all surviving letters written by Spalding, a representative sample of correspondence addressed to her (which primarily concerned the day-to-day operations of the Nazareth Academy) and annotations that provide useful context to help the reader reconstruct Spalding's world. Spalding emerges as a strong-willed woman who dedicated her life to public service as an imperative of her faith. Catherine Spalding, SCN is an important [End Page 708] source for anyone interested in the woman, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth that she led, or nineteenth-century Kentucky religion.
The Life and Work of John C. Campbell. By Olive Dame Campbell. Edited by Elizabeth McCutchen Williams. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2016. Pp. 720. $60.00; $60.00 ebook)
In this distinctive volume, Elizabeth McCutchen Williams compiles Olive Dame Campbell's unfinished comprehensive overview of the life and work of her husband, John C. Campbell, into a critical edition for the first time. John C. Campbell's The Southern Highlander and His Homeland (1921) was a foundational work in Appalachian scholarship, and his wife's career as a folklorist also blazed trails for future work in the region. Yet the Campbells themselves remain somewhat underappreciated and unexamined. Williams's interesting mix of biography and collected correspondence promises to begin addressing this gap, while providing resources for future scholars to appraise the Campbells and their work in a critical context. Not only that, it includes valuable materials on the economic, social, and educational conditions in southern Appalachia during the 1910s. [End Page 709]