Thursday, May 11, 2017

More Civil War dreams

It is certainly not unusual to find two Civil War scholars researching unusual or previously neglected topics without knowledge of the other's work, but it does seem to occur with a strangely high frequency that their books end up getting published around the same time. Just when you thought Jonathan White had the dream world of Civil War soldiers and civilians all to himself for while (with Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War), you find that another study of wide thematic crossover is shortly on the way. Wanda Easter Burch's The Home Voices Speak Louder Than the Drums: Dreams and the Imagination in Civil War Letters and Memoirs will be published this summer. "Providing fresh perspective on the human side of the Civil War, (her) book explores the dreams and imaginings of those who fought it, as recorded in their letters, journals and memoirs. Sometimes published as poems or songs or printed in newspapers, these rarely acknowledged writings reflect the personalities and experiences of their authors. Some expressions of fear, pain, loss, homesickness and disappointment are related with grim fatalism, some with glimpses of humor."

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