Publisher: University of Virginia Special Collections
Yule Log and Others
A yule log sits at the foot of a hill leading up to an idealized Southern plantation on the front cover of book of short stories written by LaSalle Corbell Pickett, the widow of Confederate general George E. Pickett who was famed for his eponymous charge at Gettysburg. LaSalle relentlessly aggrandized her husband's reputation in the wake of his death; she also wrote a series of local color short stories using slave dialect that she dubbed "phonetically genuine." She intended her stories to be romantic yarns that would counterpose the "olden dialect" with its "loved familiar sound" against the harshness of modern life. The title of this collection refers to the supposed plantation tradition that at Christmastime, while the yule log burned, slaves would not have to work. Pickett's publisher opined that "Just as Dickens' stories become more valuable and interesting with age, so likewise will hers." Modern critics, however, have found little to commend in her literary endeavors.