The House of Percy: Honor, Melancholy, and Imagination in a Southern Family, and The Literary Percys: Family History, Gender, and the Southern Imagination by Bertram Wyatt-Brown (Review)

The House of Percy: Honor, Melancholy, and Imagination by Bertram Wyatt-Brown (Oxford University Press, 1994)

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The House of Percy: Honor, Melancholy, and Imagination in a Southern Family, and The Literary Percys: Family History, Gender, and the Southern Imagination by Bertram Wyatt-Brown (Review)

by Tom McHaney
Southern Cultures, Vol. 3, No. 4: Winter 1997

Oxford University Press, 1994. University of Georgia Press, 1994.

As he did with his work on southern honor (Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South and Honor and Violence in the Old South), historian Bertram Wyatt-Brown has made two books of very different scale out of his formidable research into the long and richly peopled chronicle of the American family now best known for producing two of the twentieth-century South’s most interesting writers, the epigonic poet and modern memoirist William Alexander Percy and the philosophical essayist and postmodern novelist Walker Percy. Both books, for very different reasons, deserve our close attention, not merely as contributions to southern letters but equally as models of good judgement and good writing under the aegis of new American historiography.