I first met Dr. Clyde Wilson in February 2018 at an Abbeville Institute conference in Charleston. I had been reading his many works since I began becoming more intellectually curious about Southern tradition, the War, Reconstruction, and the New South, my own Confederate ancestry, and what it all means for the world today. Once you crack the veneer of the Lincolnian mindset, you simply can’t avoid Wilson’s voluminous writings.
So, being the shameless dork I am, I introduced myself at the Friday night meet-and-greet and asked if he’d let my husband snap a picture of the two of us. So the man who’s considered the greatest living Southern historian humbly obliged, even though I’ve now learned he’s not a fan of posing for photos. What a gentleman.
Since then, Wilson has become a mentor to me. He encourages young and late-to-the-game Southern writers. He’s quick with a compliment if he thinks it’s deserved, but won’t pull punches if need be.
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