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The Virginia Bookshelf


We Were Always Free

T. O. Madden, Jr. and Nell Irvin Painter

In August of 1758, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, a poor Irish immigrant named Mary Madden bore a child, Sarah Madden, whose father was said to be a slave and the property of Colonel James Madison, father of the future president of the United States. This daughter, though born to a free... More


Skinny Dipping

Janet Lembke

The author of the acclaimed Dangerous Birds followed that success with a new collection of essays on the natural world, these connected by the theme of water: exploring issues as varied as the joy that water brings, the wistful rememberings it engenders, and its sacredness. As with all of... More


Let Me Lie

James Branch Cabell. Foreword by R. H. W. Dillard

When Let Me Lie was first published in 1947, most reviewers missed the double meaning of the book's title. Deaf to James Branch Cabell's many-layered ironic wit, they read the book as a paean to the old South. Readers of this new paperback edition are unlikely to repeat the mistake.... More