Tokens of Affection: The Letters of a Planter’s Daughter in the Old South Edited by Carol Bleser (Review)

Tokens of Affection: The Letters of a Planter's Daughter in the Old South Edited by Carol Bleser (University of Georgia Press, 1996)

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Tokens of Affection: The Letters of a Planter’s Daughter in the Old South Edited by Carol Bleser (Review)

by Jane Turner Censer
Southern Cultures, Vol. 4, No. 2: Summer 1998

University of Georgia Press, 1996

In her introduction to Tokens of Affection, Carol Bleser alludes to the spell that Maria Bryan’s letters cast over John Shaw Billings II, managing editor of Time magazine and Henry Luce’s second in command. In the 1950s Billings would sometimes hurry home from meetings just to spend the evening perusing letters written by Maria Bryan, his great aunt who had been dead over a century. Why were these letters so compelling to him and why are they still interesting today?