The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968

Book Reviews

history of the "Sanctified Sisters" of Belton to James D. Byrd's lament
on the "Creeping Ignorance on Poke Sallet." Among other excellent
articles are Jan H. Brunvand's skillful examination of the develop-
ment of the "Hat-in-Mud Tale" and James T. Bratcher's tracing of
the source of the "Baby-Switching Story" found in Owen Wister's
The Virginian, among other places.
The posthumous article on Lomax was among the last writings of
Dobie, a speech delivered at the presentation of a portrait of Lomax
to the University of Texas. To read it and view the portfolio of Dobie
photographs included in the volume makes the favorite toast of Lomax
a most poignant and appropriate title, "Here's to the sunny slopes
of long ago."
Texas Technological College JAMES V. REESE
The Texas Institute of Letters, 1936-1966. By William H. Vann. Austin
(The Encino Press), 1967. Pp. x+85. Illustrations, appendix.
$7.50.
The idea of establishing a Texas Institute of Letters originated with
Professor William H. Vann, who in the spring of 1936 invited a group
of representative Texas writers to meet in Belton for a literary pro-
gram, sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, national English fraternity. A
committee was appointed to consider the possibilities of a local organi-
zation similar in a limited manner to the American Academy of Arts
and Letters. After much effort, fifty charter members were proposed,
and a meeting was held in Dallas at the Hall of State of the Cen-
tennial Exposition on November 9, 1936, with J. Frank Dobie deliv-
ering the inaugural address. Attendance was small, and for several
years it looked as if the Institute might perish, but the persistent efforts
of a few devoted individuals brought the organization to its present
success.
Professor Vann, who served as secretary of the Institute from the
beginning until 1951, has recounted its story through three decades
in The Texas Institute of Letters, 1936-1966. Three close friends, J.
Frank Dobie, Walter Prescott Webb, and Roy Bedichek, exerted a
deep influence on the character of the group, and their tradition of
the best in old-time Texas culture is still represented by Mody Boat-
right. Dobie more than anyone else set standards of individuality,
freedom of expression, and of a regionalism that was never provincial.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed July 5, 2015.