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Once I Too Had Wings


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Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Foreword by Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Walden's Ridge
  • Chapter 2: Return to Walden's Ridge
  • Chapter 3: Tragedy and Heartbreak
  • Chapter 4: "I Must Be Free!"
  • Chapter 5: Pine Breeze Sanitarium
  • Chapter 6: A Brief Separation
  • Chapter 7: The Good Gray Mother
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Index

About the Author

Emma Bell Miles (1879 -1919) was a gifted writer, poet, naturalist, and artist with a keen perspective on Appalachian life and culture. She chronicled her home region through her prolific journals, illustrations, essays, poetry, and fiction. Steven Cox is the head of special collections and archives in the Lupton Library at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt is John Shelton Reed Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies in the department of American studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her family roots in western North Carolina extend back to the 1700s. Among her publications are A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender and Southern Food, The Tangled Roots of Feminism, Environmentalism, and Appalachian Literature, and The Larder: Food Studies Methods from the American South (edited with John T. Edge and Ted Ownby).


"A crucial, rare, and enlightening resource. This work has the potential to deepen our understanding of the challenges and rewards of Appalachian women writing." -- Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt
"These writings, expertly collected by Cox, delve into Mile's life and observations on her family's challenging economic circumstances, her son's death from scarlet fever, and her own fight against tuberculosis, all transcribed in her trademark evocative prose."
"The triumphs and trials of writer-artist Emma Bell Miles will resonate with modern readers. Steven Cox's balanced introduction and careful editing of Miles's journals (1908-1918) provide context for a take on Appalachian life that was at once sympathetic and unromantic, prescient yet still elusive. Sadly the short life the Journal records also reveals the price of a deep ambivalence for tradition and modernity in an era eerily similar to our own." -- Mark T. Banker, author of Appalachians All
"Reading Miles's journals thirty-six years ago in the Oklahoma home of daughter Judith Miles Ford, I felt then the world must see her poignant observations of the natural and cultural environment of her Appalachia. Steven Cox's choices from Miles's personal writings reveal powerful insights of a woman who lived, loved, absorbed, and recorded her place more than 100 years past." -- Grace Toney Edwards, Professor Emeritus of Appalachian Studies and English, Radford University

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