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[389] to local conditions. The Century published Page's Marse Chan, a story entirely in negro dialect. Joel Chandler Harris1 contributed his inimitable Uncle Remus studies of negro folklore and added to them short stories of the mountain ‘crackers.’ Mingo and other sketches, which appeared the same year as In the Tennessee Mountains, deals with the Craddock region and people but with surer hand. Harris was himself a native of Georgia hills, though he was by no means a ‘cracker,’ and he spoke with the sympathy and the knowledge of a native, not as an outside spectator and an exhibitor like Miss Murfree. The same may be said of Richard Malcolm Johnston (1822-98), whose Dukesborough tales, dealing with rural life in the Georgia of his youth, first were given to Northern readers in 1883.

The evolution of Johnston's art is an interesting study. He was inspired not by Irving or by any of the Northerners, but by Longstreet,2 whose brutally realistic Georgia scenes had appeared as early as 1835. In 1857 Johnston had written The Goose pond School and had followed it with other realistic studies for The Southern magazine. Later they were gathered for a Southern edition entitled Georgia sketches, and still later, in 1871, he had reissued them in Baltimore as Dukesborough tales. He, therefore, must be reckoned with Harte as a pioneer, though his work had few readers and no influence until it was again reissued by the Harpers in 1883. Even then, and afterwards when he had added new and more artistically handled material, he was not a highly significant figure. Studies of provincial Georgia life he could make, some of them bitingly true, but his range was small and his soundings, even within his narrow area, were not deep. He must be classified with the makers of sketches like Longstreet rather than with the short story writers of the period in which he first became known.

So completely was local colour the vogue of the eighties that the novelist was regarded as a kind of specialist who moved in a narrow field of his own and who was to be reprimanded if he stepped beyond its limits. The movement had three phases: first, the Irvingesque school that romanticized its material and threw over it a softened light,—Harte, Miss

1 See also Book III, Chap. V.

2 See also Book II, Chap. XIX.

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