Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Book Is Published--Fiat Flux: The Writings of Wilson R. Bachelor, Nineteenth-Century Country Doctor and Philosopher

At the risk of appearing immodest, I do want to announce that my book Fiat Flux: The Writings of Wilson R. Bachelor, Nineteenth-Century Country Doctor and Philosopher, has just been published. University of Arkansas Press kindly sent me a copy hot off the press by special delivery yesterday morning, and I have to say, it looks good to me. (But as my father always responded when my mother admired her children, "Darling, every crow thinks her chick's the blackest").

From the dust cover of the book (and the University of Arkansas Press catalogue description):

Bachelor was an avid reader with wide-ranging interests in literature, science, nature, politics, and religion, and he became a self-professed freethinker in the 1870s. He was driven by a concept he called “fiat flux,” an awareness of the “rapid flight of time” that motivated him to treat the people around him and the world itself as precious and fleeting. He wrote occasional pieces for a local newspaper, bringing his unusually enlightened perspectives to the subjects of women’s rights, capital punishment, the role of religion in politics, and the domination of the American political system by the economic elite in the 1890s.

Retired Senator Dale Bumpers and his wife Betty Flanagan Bumpers, both of whom grew up in Franklin County, Arkansas, where Dr. Bachelor settled when he left Tennessee in 1870, kindly wrote a recommendation letter for the book, which is reproduced in its front matter. An excerpt from that letter which appears on the dust jacket:

This volume portrays the courage, independent action and determination that it took to live a life practicing medicine on the "wild frontier" of western Arkansas in the second half of the nineteenth century. In celebration of the life of an independent spirit and thinker we wish to commend to you the writings of Wilson R. Bachelor. 

As the Bumpers's letter notes, the Bumpers family's land lay contiguous to that of the Bachelor family when both families first settled in Franklin County. There were, in fact, a number of connections between the two families over the years, and one of the sources I cite for oral history of Wilson Bachelor and his life is a member of the Bumpers family raised as a stepson by one of Bachelor's sons.

(And I know I've posted about this book before, and don't want to inundate you with postings about it. I will admit being tickled to see it in print, though.)

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