Sunday, November 6, 2011

Finished A Diary From Dixie

A Diary from Dixie
by Mary Chesnut (1823-1886)
Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary

I just finished listening to the audio book A Diary from Dixie by Mary Chestnut, on There are forty sections (chapters) and on average each section is about 20 minutes long, some shorter and a few longer. The book is free and you can download it onto portable device. (I have listen to other books when traveling) I completed a lot of needlework while listening to this one.

In developing a persona, listening to audio books may help. It is interesting hearing the words being spoken as apposed to reading words in a book. You begin to develop a critical ear for the vocabulary and phrases of the social class during this period.

Mary writes about the war, politics, social situations, events and her friends and acquaintances.

What I found interesting was her description of the foods available to her.  Mary talks about the expense of foods, not any lack of foods. The southern elite like Mary Chestnut are able to purchase what they want and need since they can pay for it. The costs and inflation of all goods, plus the value-worth of Confederate money is of some concern.  But food, even towards the end of 1864 is plentiful for her. It was not until 1865 she writes of not having enough to eat, even then her friends provide her with an array of foods. 

I would recommend this audio book if you don't have time to read the book. Take it in sections while you are doing other things.

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