Mary Chesnut’s Diary

Mary Chesnut’s Diary by Mary Boykin Chesnut with an introduction from Catherine Clinton
Penguin Classics / On Sale: April  26, 2011

Considered one of the best accounts of the Civil War from the Southern perspective, Mary Chesnut’s Diary, written between 1861 and 1865 narrates the Confederate perspective of the Civil War from the very first shots of battle in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mary Boykin Chesnut (1823-1886) was born into a well-connected South Carolina planter family and attended an exclusive Charleston French boarding school for girls before her marriage at seventeen to James Chesnut, Jr. In 1858, when her husband became the U.S. Senator from South Carolina, she relished her role as society hostess in Washington.

Catherine Clinton (Introduction and Further Reading) is an American historian. She currently holds a chair in U.S. history at Queen’s University Belfast where she heads a postgraduate program in American history.

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