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Ohio Archæological and Historical Society
Publications, Volume XX

Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications, Volume XX [1911], Page 476 [Click for larger image]Page 476

has done a unique and stupendous service in the field of western historic lore. These volumes will soon be beyond the reach of the purchaser as but one thousand copies were printed — "from type and the type destroyed" — say the publishers. Scarcity will therefore soon add to the value of the work. A BUCKEYE BOYHOOD. A very delightful and entertaining little volume of two hundred pages, recently published by The Robert Clarke Company, Cincinnati, is “A Buckeye Boyhood," by William Henry Venable. The mention of the author's name is assurance of the literary excellence of the story and the charming nature of the narrative, Mr. Venable early won high place among the Ohio men of letters by his “Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley," now a classic in Ohioana. His numerous other books of poetry, history, fiction and essay bespeak the range of his intellectual wealth and the versatility of his talent, thought and study. A dozen or more volumes on various themes, all gems in their way, attest the popular place Mr. Venable has attained among the readers not only of Ohio but the country at large. This last volume is a "veiled autobiography" — a renaissance of the life and times of the author's boyhood; much of the recital being his own personal experience. The story is given in a simple, lucid style of "everyday" English — rendering the pages fascinating alike to young and old. In the rush and whirl of our present day life the literature that seems most in demand is that either of the purely in forming kind — the knowledge more or less heavy or technical that men and women seek for practical purposes or the highly imaginative or sensational class that stimulates the emotions and is read, much as narcotics and intoxicants are taken, to deaden for the moment the oppressions and cares of an overwrought nervous existence. The Buckeye Boyhood is a reversion — evidently delightful to the author and hence also to the reader — to the simple rural life of a generation or two ago; the struggle on the farm, for a plain living, with its attendant enjoyment of the freedom and beauties of nature; the toil arduous but simple, and unhampered by the exactions and high pressure of the "get there" ambitions and superfluous luxuries. The fields and woods and streams and hills and dales were the boy's arena — the country school with its elemental studies, the glimpses of the village and city life and the wider range of vision they opened for the lad; his books and reading and his amusements; all these are set forth by the pen of Mr. Venable as with the brush of a master upon the canvas of memory by an artist not an impressionist but a realist. The chapter on "religious experience" is especially readable as it typifies the crucial trial through which nearly all thoughtful and serious

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