Eudora Welty's Home Place
University Press of Mississippi
On Sale: September 8, 2011
Hardcover / e-Book
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By the time she reached her late twenties, Eudora Welty
(1909-2001) was launching a distinguished literary career.
She was also becoming a capable gardener under the tutelage
of her mother, Chestina Welty, who designed their modest
garden in Jackson, Mississippi. From the beginning, Eudora
wove images of southern flora and gardens into her writing,
yet few outside her personal circle knew that the images
were drawn directly from her passionate connection to and
abiding knowledge of her own garden.
Near the end of her life, Welty still resided in her
parents' house, but the garden-and the friends who
remembered it-had all but vanished. When a local garden
designer offered to help bring it back, Welty began
remembering the flowers that had grown in what she called
"my mother's garden." By the time Eudora died, that
gardener, Susan Haltom, was leading a historic restoration.
When Welty's private papers were released several years
after her death, they confirmed that the writer had sought
both inspiration and a creative outlet there. This book
contains many previously unpublished writings, including
literary passages and excerpts from Welty's private
correspondence about the garden.
The authors of One Writer's Garden also draw connections
between Welty's gardening and her writing. They show how the
garden echoed the prevailing style of Welty's mother's
generation, which in turn mirrored wider trends in American
life: Progressive-era optimism, a rising middle class,
prosperity, new technology, women's clubs, garden clubs,
streetcar suburbs, civic beautification, conservation, plant
introductions, and garden writing. The authors illustrate
this garden's history--and the broader story of how American
gardens evolved in the early twentieth century-with images
from contemporary garden
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