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The Ocean's Menace

Archibald Rutledge
Introduction and Afterword by Jim Casada
Illustrations by Stephen Chesley

A tale with twists and turns in a treacherous land where most hunters dare not venture

One of the more underappreciated aspects of Archibald Rutledge’s varied and prolific literary efforts focuses on the way he could weave stories involving danger in the wilds. What he frequently described as chimeras—great sharks, alligators, rattlesnakes, and cottonmouths of incredible and often embellished dimensions, wild hogs with razor-sharp tusks, and more—clearly fascinated him. Similarly, he exhibited a knack for twists and turns in his tales reminiscent of O. Henry at his best.

The Ocean’s Menace offers a fine example of this aspect of Rutledge as a creative writer. The title is misleading, because it immediately conjures images of something massive, such as a white shark, devilfish, whale, or other leviathan. Instead, “The Ocean” is a remote, treacherous tract of land near Hampton where hunters dared not venture and which locals viewed with a mixture of awe and alarm. It provides an ideal setting for this tale.

Rutledge was at his best when writing of whitetails, because deer hunting is woven as a bright thread through the entire fabric of his life. Here though, instead of yet another tale of a mighty stag or an antlered giant, the quarry proves to be the hunter’s salvation. Delightfully told, with an abundance of twists and turns as the story unfolds, this is the sage of the Santee at his finest.

A project of South Carolina Humanities benefiting South Carolina literary programs, this new edition of The Ocean’s Menace is illustrated in handsome charcoal etchings by Southern artist Stephen Chesley.

Archibald Rutledge (1883–1973) was South Carolina's most prolific writer and the state's first poet laureate. His nature writings garnered him the prestigious John Burroughs Medal.

Jim Casada has written or edited more than forty books, contributed to many others, and authored some five thousand magazine articles. Casada has edited five Rutledge anthologies—Hunting and Home in the Southern Heartland, Tales of Whitetails, America's Greatest Game Bird, Carolina Christmas, and Bird Dog Days, Wingshooting Ways. A past president of the South Carolina Outdoor Writers Association, the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, and the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Casada has been honored with more than 150 regional and national writing awards. He serves as editor at large for Sporting Classics magazine.

Stephen Chesley is a semiabstract artist working primarily in oils, charcoal, and metal. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions and has been honored with a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Chesley's previous collaborations with South Carolina Humanities were Archibald Rutledge's Claws, The Doom of Ravenswood, The Egret’s Plume, and an illustrated chapbook edition of the Julia Peterkin short story "Ashes" in 2012.

 
 

 


 

OUTDOORS | FICTION | SOUTH CAROLINA
8.5 X 11
56 pages
20 b&w illus.
ISBN 978-1-61117-815-9
Hardcover, $24.99t
ISBN 978-1-61117-816-6
Ebook, $24.99t
Limited Numbered Edition
ISBN 978-1-61117-817-3
Leather, $225.00t
Limited to 100 copies
A Project of South Carolina Humanities
 
 

 
 
    Copyright ©2017 The University of South Carolina Press