Notes Concerning Author
Louis B. Wright (1899-1984), a native of South Carolina, was a prolific and internationally recognized scholar of Shakespeare and the English Renaissance period. He was most noted, perhaps, as successively the founder and director of the great research collections of the Huntingdon Library in San Marino, California, and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington. His contributions to published scholarship were immense.
One of Wright’s subjects was the early American colonies, a natural offshoot of the English period he was interested in. Two of his most important books in this area, among many others, are recommended here. The First Gentlemen of Virginia is a study of the first leaders of that colony that greatly adds to the understanding of the origins of the Southern people. The Colonial Search for a Southern Eden concerns the motives and goals of the first Southern settlers. While the Puritans who settled New England intended to found a collective “City on a Hill” that was superior to all other societies, the settlers of the South had more modest and individual motivations. They wanted to acquire land and independence and re-create the best of the genteel rural society of England. The conflict between these two contradictory foundings runs through American history and explains much of that history.
Availability of these Books
Both books are available online and on the used book market in hardback and paperback.