Mary Boykin Chesnut

Chesnut in the 1860s Mary Boykin Chesnut (née Miller) (March 31, 1823 – November 22, 1886) was an American author noted for a book published as her Civil War diary, a "vivid picture of a society in the throes of its life-and-death struggle." She described the war from within her upper-class circles of Southern slaveowner society, but encompassed all classes in her book. She was married to a lawyer who served as a United States senator and Confederate officer. Chesnut worked toward a final form of her book in 1881–1884, based on her extensive diary written during the war years. It was published in 1905, 19 years after her death. New versions were published after her papers were discovered, in 1949 by the novelist Ben Ames Williams, and in 1981 by the historian C. Vann Woodward, whose annotated edition of the diary, ''Mary Chesnut's Civil War'' (1981), won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1982. Literary critics have praised Chesnut's diary—the influential writer Edmund Wilson termed it "a work of art" and a "masterpiece" of the genre—as the most important work by a Confederate author. Provided by Wikipedia
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