Archibald Rutledge's Enduring Holiday Stories
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
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Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication
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Over the course of some three decades involving active study of the life and lit-erary endeavors of Archibald Rutledge, many individuals have helped me orencouraged my efforts. Foremost in their ranks was the late Irvine Rutledge, OldFlintlock’s son. Irv was enthusiastic about my plans for a series of anthologiesthat would once again make some of his father’s finest writing readily available...
A Note on Selection
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Unlike my previous Archibald Rutledge anthologies, selection of items for in -clusion in the current one has been a relatively simple, straightforward under-taking. The seasonal focus explains this in large mea sure, but some mention ofRutledge was an incredibly prolific writer, and seldom does a week passwhen I do not discover a new story or poem that he wrote. He almost certainly...
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Hampton hunts and wildwood walks are experiences I have shared vicariouslywith Archibald Rutledge from the days of starry-eyed youth to the present. As ayoungster his stories in Field & Stream and Outdoor Life so entranced me that Icarefully timed my visits to the barbershop in order to be sure to face a lengthywait for a barber’s chair. That wait ensured ample opportunity to read and savor...
Part I: Christmas in Dixie
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The hunting experience was part and parcel of the holiday season at Hampton, andthe quest rightly holds preeminence in the contents of this anthology. NonethelessRutledge was closely attuned to the wider meaning of the season. He delighted inthe simple joys of sharing and giving, not merely with his immediate family butwith neighbors and, especially, the black residents on the plantation. A great lover...
Part II: A Natural Christmas
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Today’s readers tend to remember Rutledge primarily as a hunting writer, and un -questionably he was a master of the genre. Yet during his lifetime he was at least aswell known as a nature writer. The selections in this section offer solid evidence ofwhy this was the case. He was an astute observer who spent untold hours in the nat-ural world, watching and listening while savoring every sight and sound the inhab-...
Part III: The Hampton Hunt: Whitetail Tales
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Christmas vacations at Hampton were filled with activity. They included joyousreunions with the black people resident on the plantation, who had not seen theRutledge family since late summer, and a constant stream of visitors as family andfriends from surrounding plantations, nearby McClellanville, and the Charlestonarea came to the stately old home; and there were all the festivities associated with...
Part IV: The Hampton Hunt: Other Game
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This piece first appeared in the August 1920 issue of Field & Stream and later wasincluded in Plantation Game Trails (pages 160–64). At the time quail, those noblelittle patricians of fence rows and overgrown ditches, patches of broomsedge andunharvested field corners were plentiful. Since then their numbers have declineddramatically, so much so that were Rutledge alive today it would be impossible for...
Part V: Christmas Verse
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Without much question, posterity remembers and honors Rutledge more for hisprose than his poetry. Booksellers indicate that his collections of stories are ingreater demand than those bringing together poems, although the scarcity of bothattests to his enduring popularity. Fine copies of his rarest books, whatever the sub-ject matter, bring prices that sometimes reach into the four-figure range. To me...
Part VI: Feasting at Hampton: The Culinary Aspects of a Low Country Christmas
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Writing in My Colonel and His Lady, a moving tribute to his parents, Rutledgeoffered some insight into the kind of fare that was standard for the holidays atHampton. “I hate,” he ventured, “to describe a plantation Christmas dinner if Icannot offer my readers the dinner itself.” References to culinary plea sures as anintegral and important aspect of Christmastime at Hampton Plantation spice...
About the Editor
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JIM CASADA, a retired history professor, is one of the country’s most widelypublished outdoor writers. He has written or edited more than forty books,contributed to many others, and authored some five thousand magazine arti-cles. A longtime student of Archibald Rutledge, Casada has edited four previousRutledge anthologies—Hunting and Home in the Southern Heartland; Tales of...
Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2012