Odd Leaves from the Life of a Louisiana Swamp Doctor

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  • “We surely will laugh at its great humor, but if we fail to recognize the human truths, tragedies, and terrors it also portrays, then we will have missed the heart of a very important work.”—Edwin T. Arnold, from his Introduction

    In addition to being one of the leading southern humorists of his day, Henry Clay Lewis (1825–1850) also practiced medicine in a backwoods community where he treated masters and slaves as well as hunters and squatters. Odd Leaves from the Life of a Louisiana Swamp Doctor is a collection of Lewis’ sketches—a comic vision of the southern backwoods. Edwin T. Arnold's Introduction places Lewis’ writing in the context of his times, discussing his role in the development of southwestern humor as a literary genre and emphasizing Lewis’ contribution to southern letters.