John Bakeless, DANIEL BOONE (New York: W. Morrow & Co., 1939)

Filson, John
<Comparison of Filson's orotund, pseudo-Johnsonian style with the blunt, simple, and vigorous language of Dan'l's illiterate but salty letters and official reports reveals the pious fraud at once. Boone, however, had no objection to ghost-writing. He was enchanted. LIke other backwoods heroes, he took an innocent joy in being written up -- in such elaborate language, too. Why, the thing was literature, real book language, nearly as good as GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, which he had carried in the wilderness. . . . Boone even commended the biography's accuracy to a chance visitor at his Missouri retreat and talked as if he had really written it. He liked to hear it read aloud. "All true! Every word true!" he would exclaim delightedly. "Not a lie in it!" As a matter of fact, there are a good many lies in it. Filson mixes up dates badly, represents Boone's hasty estimates of Indian forces as if they were exact calculations, and blunders in describing incidents. His errors can be shown easily enough from contemporary documents and from the reminiscences of contemporaries. But at least, republished in England and translated on the Continent, Filson's KENTUCKE spread the fame of Daniel Boone far and wide in America and abroad.> BAKELESS:394-395


    Created: 8/8/2017 9:11:01 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20533-26560
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