John Sledge had a great piece in yesterday's Mobile Press-Register about Marc Matrana's latest book, Lost Plantations of the South. Matrana's book is an illustrated history of grand plantation homes that have been lost to war, disaster, and neglect. Sledge notes that Matrana's exploration of plantation homes is "well-written, accessible and free from academic or architectural jargon."
An excerpt from the article is below:
Stories like these have made Matrana passionate about promoting the importance of historic preservation, even to people whose hearts may not be warmed by the subject of slaveholders’ mansions. “Lost plantations still hold great cultural significance for Americans,” he argues. “These estates and their inhabitants were once the principal cultural, economic, and political institutions of the South. And, as much as they represent the glory of antebellum times and great achievements in art and architecture, these long gone plantations also represent man’s inhumanity to man — vanished physical evidence of American slavery.” The few plantations that remain, he declares, “must be closely and aggressively protected” if we are to have any profound understanding for the era.
Click here to see Marc Matrana discussing his passion for historical preservation at the 2009 Louisiana Book Fair.