By Joel Chandler Harris
Hardcover, 206 pp
From the Publisher:
UNCLE REMUS was a fictionalized, friendly old Negro who told plantation tales to a young, admiring boy on a plantation in middle Georgia during the 1880’s. But Uncle Remus still lives, as thee most famous personality of all Georgia literature. Uncle Remus first appeared on the pages of the Atlanta Constitution in 1879, beside advertisements for whiskey, quack nostrums and coffins. As literature, these stories are a unique record of 19th Century Afro-American animal folklore, a rich spoken literature transmitted from Africa to America by an oral tradition, which vanished when urban society destroyed the continuity of plantation life. As social history, the Uncle Remus tales contain a melancholy undercurrent about the changing South, a nostalgia for gentle agrarian values and sad regret that something valuable was being destroyed by “progress.” Uncle Remus is a devoted and beloved old slave who prefers the gentle countryside to the tough new cities, and he lives on a plantation which was an idealized memory of the author’s own home. As politics, the stories were a reflection of national reunion after the Civil War, representing a sympathetic portrait of southern social life. The Uncle Remus tales were first published in book form in Boston, and they were nationally famous. Significantly, the little boy to whom Uncle Remus tells most of his tales is the son of a southern lady and a wounded Union officer. But the fact that the tales entertain is, after all, the only justification they have ever needed. This selection of sixty-four favorite Uncle Remus stories has been decorated with many of the original illustrations.
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