A Journey to Matecumbe by Robert Lewis Taylor ; Illustrations by Joseph Papin
New York : McGraw-Hill, 1961. First Edition. Stated. Hardcover. 424 pages ; illustrated ; 22 cm. $5.95 dust jacket with minor foxing and damp stain to verso of jacket. Lite damp stain to inner top pages edge on the first few pages. Foxing to top pages edge. Otherwise a very good copy with solid binding and unmarked pages.
A Journey to Matecumbe is a big, exciting story about a young boy's wildly funny, often hair-raising flight down the Mississippi to a precarious haven in the Florida Keys just after the Civil War. The assortment of villains in pursuit — Ku Klux Klansmen, wicked Indians, ruthless spies, and imposters — will delight the reader almost as much as the lad's extravagant and frequently accidental companions on the journey — his swashbuckling Uncle Jim; an itinerant medicine man named Dr. Ewing T. Snodgrass and his trombone-playing daughter Millie; a Negro retainer, Zebediah; and a sharp-tongued Southern belle named Lauriette.
Their narrow escapes, their pitched battles, disguises, and superb ruses, amid plots and counterplots, hurricanes, imprisonment, kidnapping, leprosy, and unexpected treachery on every side make A Journey to Matecumbe a tale of high adventure spun at breakneck pace against a series of exotic backgrounds.
Davey Burnie, Mr. Taylor's hero and narrator, is a literary first cousin of Huck Finn, Tom Jones, and the author's own Jaimie McPheeters. From one adventure to another, he travels with his colorful friends by skiff, flatboat, horseback, steamboat, stage line, schooner, railroad, and Indian canoe. The place names alone suggest the rightness of the background, which has been thoroughly researched and accurate in every detail. Fictitious names mingle with the authentic: Hanksville, Madrid Bend, Pecan Point, Bosky Dell, Sanybel, Big Cypress, Manatee River, and Matecumbe.
With A Journey to Matecumbe, Robert Lewis Taylor reintroduces to the American novel an ingredient long absent and sorely missed — glorious entertainment. It is a story that will be read and enjoyed by people of all ages not only this year and next, but a decade hence.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ROBERT LEWIS TAYLOR, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, has been for some years a staff writer of profiles and articles for The New Yorker. His work has also appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Life, Reader's Digest, Esquire, and other magazines. His previous books include W. C. Fields: His Follies and Fortunes; Winston Churchill: An Informal Study of Greatness; Center Ring: The People of the Circus; Adrift in a Boneyard; and Professor Fodor ski, a novel currently being made into a Broadway musical.
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