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Diddie, Dumps & Tot or, Plantation child-life   By: (1850-1907)

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Louise Clarke Pyrnelle's Diddie, Dumps & Tot or, Plantation child-life offers readers a unique and captivating glimpse into the lives of children growing up in a plantation setting. Set in the late nineteenth century, this book provides a rich and heartfelt narrative that explores the innocence, friendships, and challenges faced by these young characters amidst a turbulent historical backdrop.

The novel revolves around three main protagonists: Diddie, Dumps, and Tot. Each character exudes a distinct personality, bringing a sense of authenticity to the narrative. Through their interactions and adventures, Pyrnelle effectively depicts the strong bond formed between the children, as they navigate a world influenced by racial divisions, social hierarchies, and the evolving dynamics of the post-Civil War era.

Pyrnelle's descriptive prose shines throughout the book, painting vivid images of the lush landscapes, the sprawling plantation grounds, and the vibrant lives of its inhabitants. She effortlessly transports readers to a bygone era, capturing the essence of life on a plantation with remarkable detail. The vibrant imagery and intricate descriptions not only add depth to the storytelling but also emphasize the stark contrasts between the carefree childhood innocence and the harsh realities of the era.

One of the book's strengths lies in the author's ability to blend historical accuracy with storytelling. Pyrnelle expertly weaves in cultural and historical elements, skillfully addressing the themes of race, class, and social privilege during the Reconstruction period. By highlighting the disparities between the children's lives and those of the plantation workers, she prompts readers to reflect on the darker aspects of society.

Furthermore, the characterization of Diddie, Dumps, and Tot offers a refreshing perspective on friendship, innocence, and the power of imagination. The children's spirited dialogues, playful antics, and unwavering loyalty to each other create a heartwarming and relatable dynamic. Their innocence acts as a poignant contrast to the complex realities of plantation life, both captivating and tugging at the reader's emotions.

However, it is worth noting that the narrative occasionally slows down as Pyrnelle delves into minute details, which may test the patience of some readers. Additionally, the book's focus primarily lies on the experiences of plantation children, leaving other aspects of plantation life somewhat overlooked.

Diddie, Dumps & Tot or, Plantation child-life is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that provides a unique perspective on a turbulent period in American history. Louise Clarke Pyrnelle's exquisite prose and memorable characters breathe life into this tale, making it a compelling read for anyone interested in historical fiction, childhood innocence, and the complexities of the Reconstruction era.

First Page:

[Illustration: EVENING DEVOTIONS.]



By Louise Clarke Pyrnelle

Originally Published 1882





I Dedicate this Book




In writing this little volume, I had for my primary object the idea of keeping alive many of the old stories, legends, traditions, games, hymns, and superstitions of the Southern slaves, which, with this generation of negroes, will pass away. There are now no more dear old "Mammies" and "Aunties" in our nurseries, no more good old "Uncles" in the workshops, to tell the children those old tales that have been told to our mothers and grandmothers for generations the stories that kept our fathers and grandfathers quiet at night, and induced them to go early to bed that they might hear them the sooner.

Nor does my little book pretend to be any defence of slavery. I know not whether it was right or wrong (there are many pros and cons on that subject); but it was the law of the land, made by statesmen from the North as well as the South, long before my day, or my father's or grandfather's day; and, born under that law a slave holder, and the descendant of slave holders, raised in the heart of the cotton section, surrounded by negroes from my earliest infancy, "I KNOW whereof I do speak;" and it is to tell of the pleasant and happy relations that existed between master and slave that I write this story of "Diddie, Dumps, and Tot... Continue reading book >>

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