The Glencoe Mansion, Museum & Gallery recently announced that acclaimed Professor Emerita Grace Toney Edwards will give a talk on Appalachian author Emma Bell Miles.
“A Crusade for Mountain Women’s Rights in the Fiction of Emma Bell Miles” will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the Radford Public Library. All are welcome to attend. There is no admission charge.
Emma Bell Miles was a writer and author living in southeastern Tennessee in the early 1900s. A mountain wife and mother of five children, she struggled throughout her life with poverty and oppression.
But calling on her own experiences and those of the family and friends who lived around her, she wrote and published seventeen short stories in popular magazines of the day, including Harper’s, Lippincott’s, Putnam’s, and Red Book. Virtually every story revolves around the common lot of mountain women at the turn of the twentieth century.
Miles is best known for her book ”The Spirit of the Mountains” (1905), an authentic account of the customs and traditions of mountain people, including the role of women. In 2014, her personal journals were published under the title “Once I Too Had Wings,” edited by Steven Cox.
In 2016 an anthology of Miles’ fiction, “The Common Lot and Other Stories by Emma Bell Miles,” was edited by Grace Toney Edwards and published by Ohio University Press.
This presentation will tell the author’s own life story and highlights of her fiction through photographs, drawings and paintings done by Miles, and illustrations done by other artists for the original magazine publications.
Dr. Grace Toney Edwards is Professor Emerita of English and Appalachian Studies at Radford University. Retiring in 2010, she was the founding director of the Appalachian Regional Studies Center and chair of the interdisciplinary Appalachian Studies Program.
Among Dr. Edwards’s awards are the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award (1990), the Distinguished Scholar and Service Award of the national Appalachian Studies Association (1999), Educational Service to Appalachia Award given by Carson-Newman College (2006), and the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award from Appalachian State University (2011).