Illustrated by Sallie Middleton. Published by the R. L. Bryan Company, Columbia, South Carolina, 1970. 260pp. 6.25 x 9.25 inches. Hardcover.
In Woods and Wild Things I Remember, the picture Dr. Archibald Rutledge has drawn of the coastal wildwoods of South Carolina will live forever. As a craftsman of simple and disarming technique, but with such talent that honor upon honor has been heaped upon him, he makes one a part of his beloved Delta on the Santee and his home by the river. All ages will read his stories with fascination and enjoyment. For sheer narration, good composition and vocabulary choice, high schools and colleges should welcome actively this book to the classroom.
The book is a compilation of stories published by several national magazines as he trod along the road to fame. These are only a few of the hundreds he has written and published, for he has over eighty volumes of prose and poetry to his credit. Dr. Rutledge, now in his eighties, is still working. he is one of he few contemporary American writers who has made tape recordings for the Library of Congress.
In Woods and Wild Things I Remember, he portrays the drama, humor and color of the wild colonies around his home at Hampton and at McClellanville, where he happened to be born while his parents were summering there. From his experiences in the wild and his great storehouse of knowledge, he absorbs the listener with tales of hunting and fishing and his observations of all things great and small. His stories are illuminating and delightful and awaken the imagination through his vivid pen.
Dr. Rutledge's life has been a long and busy one. He is of Irish and French Huguenot ancestry and was born in 1883. He was the son of Henry Middleton Rutledge, a Confederate colonel, and Margaret Seabrook Rutledge. Two grandfathers were governors of South Carolina. He married first Florence Hart of Winchester, Virginia, and they had three sons, Archibald, Jr., Henry Middleton and Irvine Hart. Following her death, he married Alice Lucas of Spartanburg, who had once lived at The Wedge, a neighboring plantation, and who was a former school mate.
Dr. Rutledge attended the McClellanville schools, Porter Academy in Charleston, and received his B.S. degree from Union College, New York. He has had conferred on him twenty honorary degrees, including the Doctor of Literature from Furman University and the The University of South Carolina and the Master of Arts from Union College. The University of South Carolina named him to Phi Beta Kappa. He has received more than thirty medals, including the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing. He is a member of the American Society of Arts and letters, the American Poetry Society, the Neucomen Society, and others. His social fraternity is Kappa Alpha. He taught at Mercersburg Academy, Pennsylvania, from 1904–1937. When he retired from teaching, he returned to Hampton and began its restoration. For the past several years, he resided in Spartanburg.
Among his first published works was a story in 1918, “Tom and I on the Old Plantation,” In 1966, The R. L. Bryan Company brought out a revised edition of Deep River, a complete collection of his poems, which it had first published in 1960.
Dr. Rutledge was named poet laureate of South Carolina by legislative action in 1934 when Ibra C. Blackwood was governor. Dr. Rutledge was also South Carolina's elector to the National Hall of Fame and his portrait was unveiled in the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1966.
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