The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

were unique or confined to a very few. It is by reading scores, even
hundreds, of diaries that we win our way to a discriminating aware-
ness. By making available these five women's diaries from the Hunt-
ington Library, Sandra L. Myres enables us to expand our acquaint-
ance with this phase of nineteenth-century American life.
University of Utah DAVIS BITTON
Frederic Remington and the West. By Ben Merchant Vorpahl. (Aus-
tin: University of Texas Press, 1978. Pp. xviii+294. Illustrations,
index. $15.95-)
The Collected Writings of Frederic Remington. Edited by Peggy and
Harold Samuels. (Garden City, New York: Doubleday &8 Com-
pany, Inc., 1979. Pp. xxii+649. Illustrations, catalogue of Rem-
ington illustrations for his writings. $19.95.)
Frederic Remington's name inevitably comes up in any discussion
of painters of the American West, especially if the subject turns to
artistic depictions of heroic incidents. But Peggy and Harold Samuels
contend, in the introduction to their virtually complete collection of
Remington's writings, that the artist should be taken seriously as a
writer as well.
Both the Samuels and Ben Merchant Vorpahl, author of a previous
volume on the correspondence between Remington and Owen Wister,
are well qualified to deal with their subject, for the Samuels have col-
lected art and studied Remington's writings for years, while Vorpahl,
professor of English at the University of Georgia, has devoted himself
to thorough analysis of both Remington's writings and his illustrations.
Using Remington's published articles to gain insight into his state
of mind as he sought out his pictorial subjects, Vorpahl makes a con-
vincing case for deeper significance and personal interpretation in
many of Remington's works. For one thing, the artist took his work
seriously; to him his pictures were more than just documentation or
illustration. He was compelled to paint to express his inmost feelings.
Remington's work is inevitably involved with the West, not because
he had an intense feeling for the region, but because his imagination
(which motivated his painting) was most easily and completely satisfied
by what he found there.
Both books might be viewed as somewhat controversial. Some critics
will think the Samuels a bit brash in suggesting that Remington is

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101208/. Accessed July 11, 2014.