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High Vistas: An Anthology of Nature Writing from Western North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains, Volume 1, 1674-1900 by George Ellison

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George and Elizabeth Ellison are virtual icons among those deeply familiar with the Smoky Mountains. Their homestead borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Swain County, North Carolina. For decades, George has shared his knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Smokies on wildflower walks with a great variety of visitors. Elizabeth has a studio and shop in Bryson City making her art available to the public. This book is a result of their deep knowledge of what has been written about the Smokies as well as what they have observed. George, for example, was chosen by the Univeristy of Tennessee Press to write the introduction to Horace Kephart's Our Southern Highlanders (1913) one of the first overviews of the region written by a librarian who settled in Swain County. The 21 manuscripts reprinted here are predominantly from famous botanists, but also from a variety of very obscure observers. The book is beautifully illustrated by Elizabeth Ellison.


Charleston, South Carolina, 2008.  126 pages with an extensive and valuable list of sources.