Manly Wade Wellman: The Voice of the Mountains

Manly Wade Wellman

My article on Manly Wade Wellman, once known as “the dean of fantasy writers,” is featured on the Abbeville Institute’s blog:

Manly Wade Wellman never penned an autobiography, despite the fact he published 500 stories and articles, won the World Fantasy Award and Edgar Allan Poe Award, and even edged out William Faulkner to win the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Award in 1946.

Yet, in one of his most famous short stories, Wellman did reveal how he must have seen himself throughout his career, from a crime reporter for The Wichita Eagle, to Assistant Director of the WPA’s Folklore Project in New York City, and finally as “the dean of fantasy writers.” In “The Desrick on Yandro,” the protagonist, John the Balladeer, has to sing for his supper to a group of “ladies and men in costly clothes.” Confident and entertaining despite his modest attire and outsider ways, John charms the crowd with forgotten classics, including “Rebel Soldier.” Like John the Balladeer, Manly Wade Wellman was a rustic but worldly singer of old ballads, as well as a walking, talking ambassador and promoter of traditional Southern culture wherever he went.

Read the rest at the Abbeville Institute, and Like here.

3 thoughts on “Manly Wade Wellman: The Voice of the Mountains”

  1. Mr.Tuggle — thank you! My mother’s people are the Whitakers from Halifax Co. and “Rebel Boast” is required reading for every member of our family. I’ve always wondered about the author. Please sign me up for your forthcoming book about him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bradley Hayes,

      I appreciate the visit. The book mentioned in my post is a novella inspired by Wellman, not about him. So it’s full of wise rural characters, strange beings, and a few chills and laughs. I’ll post the news when it’s released.


      1. Hopefully, an ex-Confederate soldier or two (named Whitaker?) make it in there, as well! Thanks, and looking forward to it.

        Liked by 1 person

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