Shadow Country Overview
Peter Matthiessen’s historical-fiction magnum opus, Shadow Country: A New Rendering of the Watson Legend, is a semi-fictional account of Edgar “Bloody” Watson, a sugarcane farming pioneer and alleged outlaw who was killed by his neighbors in the Ten Thousand Islands of southwestern Florida. Originally published as a trilogy, Shadow Country is comprised of three books—Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man’s River, and Bone by Bone—all of which ambitiously capture life in America after the Civil War.
In Book I, 12 first-person narrators recount Watson’s time in the Ten Thousand Islands, ranging from his arrival to his eventual demise. Book II finds Watson’s son, Lucius, coming to terms with his father’s controversial life and death, and he attempts to reconstruct his father’s true life in a biography. In Book III, Edgar Watson’s gives a first-person account of his life story in which he uncovers the novel’s most gripping mysteries. Shadow Country is an epic reimagining of nineteenth century America, where racial conflict, American development, and moral judgments are masterfully conveyed.
The Shadow Country Study Pack contains:
Shadow Country Study Guide
Peter Matthiessen Biographies (5)
3,810 words, approx. 13 pages
Peter Matthiessen is widely considered one of the most important wilderness writers of the twentieth century. In fiction and nonfiction alike, he explores endangered natural environments and human cul...
3,158 words, approx. 11 pages
Peter Matthiessen's increasingly substantial reputation as a novelist rests firmly on two remarkable books. Although he wrote three promising early novels, his two best-known works of fiction are sure...
7,131 words, approx. 24 pages
Peter Matthiessen is among a handful of American authors to be nominated for the National Book Award in both fiction and nonfiction--for the novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965) and the trav...
4,053 words, approx. 14 pages
While Peter Matthiessen's publications include several well-received novels, his reputation as a writer rests largely on his nonfiction nature books, which passionately yet scientifically document the...
5,075 words, approx. 17 pages
Peter Matthiessen was born on May 22, 1927, in New York City to Elizabeth Carey and Erard Matthiessen. "I am a New Yorker by birth, not inclination; I have never remained there very long."My formative...