West Virginia University Press is the only university press, and the largest publisher of any kind, in the state of West Virginia. A part of West Virginia University, they publish books and scholarly journals by authors around the world, with a particular emphasis on Appalachian studies, history, higher education, the social sciences, and interdisciplinary books about energy, environment, and resources. They also publish works of fiction and creative nonfiction, and collaborate on innovative digital publications, notably West Virginia History: An Open Access Reader.
CONTEMPORARY WRITING IN WEST VIRGINIA
This is as closely-knit an anthology as you are ever likely to see. It is as though a large, extended family were drawing on the same store of family stories, jokes, symbols, landscapes, animals, trees, language, and vernacular. How many snakes are in this book? How many foxes, possums? Fossils? And how very many coal mines? But it is not merely local references that unites these writers. There is a larger vision that ties these works together.
"The connection is not so much in mutual influence, though there is some of that, but in each writer’s total immersion in place. Even those writers who no longer live in the state remember the feel, the physical texture, the overwhelming and enfolding vegetal surround of the place." Editor, Irene McKinney
West Virginia University English Professor Timothy Sweet edited the second volume in our West Virginia and Appalachia series. The Blackwater Chronicle by Philip Pendleton Kennedy was originally published in 1853, but this wilderness travelogue about the exploration of Canaan Valley has appeal far beyond that time and region. In fact, it was originally published in New York and London, and even in a German edition. This often humorous and always fascinating story, told by Kennedy about the journey he and his colleagues took into yet unexplored territory, will make the reader long for days when there was still wilderness on this continent. It will also be of interest to the outdoorsman and should be viewed as an environmental cautionary tale.
A BORDER COUNTY IN THE CIVIL WAR
A border county in a border state, Barbour County, West Virginia felt the full terror and tragedy of the Civil War. The wounds of the Civil War cut most bitterly in the border states, that strip of America from Maryland to Kansas, where conflicting loyalties and traditions ripped apart communities, institutions, and families. Barbour County, in the mountainous Northwest of (West) Virginia, is a telling microcosm of the deep divisions which both caused the war and were caused by it. By examining and interpreting long-ignored documents of the times and the personal accounts of the people who were there, Clash of Loyalties offers a startling new view of America's most bitter hour. Nearly half of the military-age men in the county served in the armed forces, almost perfectly divided between the Union and the Confederacy. After West Virginia split with Virginia to rejoin the Union, Confederate soldiers from the regions could not safely visit their homes on furlough, or even send letters to their families. The county's two leading political figures, Samuel Woods and Spencer Dayton, became leaders of the fight for and against secession, dissolved their close personal friendship, and never spoke to one another again. The two factions launched campaigns of terror and intimidation, leading to the burning of several homes, the kidnapping of a sheriff, the murder of a pacifist minister, and the self-imposed exile of many of the county's influential families. The conflicting loyalties crossed nearly all social and economic lines; even the county's slave owners were evenly divided between Union and Confederate sympathies. With a meticulous examination of census and military records, geneologies, period newspapers, tax rolls, eyewitness accounts, and other relevant documents, Clash of Loyalties presents a compelling account of the passion and violence which tore apart Barbour County and the nation.
THE LIFE AND WORK OF AN AMERICAN MODERNIST
Blanche Lazzell went from Maidsville, West Virginia, to the leading edge of twentieth-century American art. A member of the prominent art communities of Paris and Provincetown, MA during the '20s and '30s, Lazzell was always on the fringe of important developments in the modern art world. Her studies in Paris led her to adopt the techniques of modernism as well as other emerging styles. Among her groundbreaking works were some of the first examples of abstraction in America. Blanche Lazzell: The Life and Work of an American Modernist is a significant contribution to the history of twentieth-century American art.
Know primarily as a Provincetown printmaker, Lazzell’s full life and career are presented here, generously accompanied by color reproductions of her work, showing the breadth of her accomplishment in painting, printmaking, and hooked rugs. Lazzell's true contribution to American art history was never fully appreciated during her lifetime. A renewed interest in the artist has developed over the past fifteen years, due mostly to the critical appreciation of her color wood block prints. She is worth remembering not only for her own work, but also for her role as a translator of the achievements of the European modernists for her colleagues in America. In Blanche Lazzell: The Life and Work of an American Modernist, nine essays and hundreds of full-color illustrations bring this incredibly talented and influential artist's work to life.
"THE FIRST CENTURY, 1790-1890"
American Bridge Patents: The First Century (1790-1890), thoroughly illustrated with dozens of photographs and reproductions, presents the findings of a two-decade long study of several thousand pages of patent documents collected from the U.S. Patent Office. The essays in this volume offer readers tremendous insight into the creativity that characterized the evolution of bridge patents during this important and formative period of American engineering history. Of particular interest to the authors is the great variety of innovative and unusual designs that were accommodated by the then ambiguous patent law. Alongside these case studies, authors also address the Patent Office itself, whose processes regarding permissions were reformed in 1836, linking the evolution of patent law to the technology it managed.
"BEOWULF,LAW, AND THEMAKING OF GERMANIC ANTIQUITY"
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