Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Shelby Foote, Dead at 88
Shelby Foote, better known as the sage grey, haired fellow in Ken Burns' Civl War died yesterday at the age of 88. He was a well known novelist and historian.
He was a World War II veteran, in a gun battery. He was court martialed after he went to see a young lady he had met while serving in Europe (the young lady eventually became his wife). He reenlisted in the marines and was preparing to head to the South Pacific, but the war ended before he was able to take part. He never saw action.
His magnum opus, if you will, a three part book series totalling over 3,000 pages titled Civil War: A Narrative took twenty years to write. He liked to joke that it took him five times as long to write the war then it did to fight it. The books are massive and have a sprawling scale. They are a testement to his scholarship and writing ability (I am, at present, working my way through the second volume).
Rest easy, Mr. Foote. Walker (Percy) and William (Faulkner) both friends of Foote are waiting for you in Heaven.