So cool. Emory professor Sally Wolff-King made what she calls a “once-in-a-lifetime literary find” while conducting interviews for a book on William Faulkner: a plantation diary filled with names, places, and happenings that Faulkner seems to have used as a source for many of his novels. Wolff-King discovered the connection between Faulkner’s work and the diary while interviewing Edgar Wiggin Francisco III, the son of one of Faulkner’s friends:
He told her about how the author would regularly visit his father in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and how he would look through the plantation diary kept by his great-grandfather, Francis Terry Leak. Leak’s plantation was near the town of Salem. His diary sees him write about topics including the number of acres ploughed, the weather, family and plantation life and the progress of the American Civil War.
“I took one look through the first pages and it was as if I were reading the pages of Go Down, Moses,” said Wolff-King, a scholar of Southern literature.
You can read NPR’s interview with Wolff-King here. Her book on her discovery, Ledgers of History, will be published in June.