Wild Rose

The Life and Times of Victor Marion Rose, Poet and Historian of Early Texas
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Louise O’Connor
440 g
236x163x18 mm

During much of his brief and troubled life, Victor Marion Rose was a walking anomaly. The scion of a venerable Texas farming and ranching family, he was widely reported to be unable to distinguish one horse from another. He fought for the Confederacy and endured imprisonment at Ohio's notorious Camp Chase, yet he later bitterly decried the Civil War as utter folly for the South. His florid poetry often celebrated the feminine mystique and ideal as he considered it, yet he was infamously unfaithful and sometimes abusive in his relationships with women. He built a respected reputation as a journalist and historian, and at the same time, he struggled with alcoholism and bouts of deep depression. Born in 1842 as the third of thirteen children of a wealthy Victoria, Texas, planter, Victor Marion Rose served as publisher and editor of the Victoria Advocate from 1869 to 1873 before moving to Laredo--reportedly due to a scandalous love affair--where he edited the Laredo Times. He also wrote volumes of poetry and published several histories of South Texas and the biography of Gen. Ben McCulloch. Rose ultimately succumbed to pneumonia in February 1893. Louise S. O'Connor, a descendant of Victor Marion Rose, has mined family records and recorded family traditions about "Uncle Vic." She carefully reviewed Rose's collected papers, both in her personal possession and in the archives of the Briscoe Center for American History and other repositories. Wild Rose provides an intimate portrait of a complicated individual who, despite his frequently unsuccessful struggles with his demons, nevertheless left an important mark on Texas history and letters.

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