Mary Boykin Chesnut Analysis


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

DeCredico, Mary A. Mary Boykin Chesnut: A Confederate Woman’s Life. Madison, Wis.: Madison House, 1996. From the series American Profiles. Includes bibliographical references and an index.

Juncker, Clara. “Writing Herstory: Mary Chesnut’s Civil War.” Southern Studies 26 (1987). Presents a feminist viewpoint.

Lynn, Kenneth S. The Air-line to Seattle: Studies in Literary and Historical Writing About America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983. A controversial view, which attacks the published diary as a fraud, characterizing it instead as a novel.

Mentzer, Melissa. “Rewriting Herself: Mary Chesnut’s Narrative Strategies.” Connecticut Review 14 (1992). Argues that Chesnut’s narrative technique is a reflection of the position of southern women in the 1880’s.

Muhlenfeld, Elisabeth. Mary Boykin Chesnut. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981. The first book-length biography. Offers a good discussion of all of Chesnut’s writings.

Wiley, Bell Irvin. Confederate Women. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1975. Devotes a chapter to discussing Chesnut’s viewpoints, interests, and character using excerpts from Ben Ames Williams’s edition of A Diary from Dixie.

Wilson, Edmund. Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War. Reprint. New York: W. W. Norton, 1994. Stresses the artistic and literary qualities of Chestnut’s published journals.