1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Virtual event to celebrate rerelease of Transylvania professor’s novel on ‘one of the most hated men in early America’

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The Paul Sawyier Public Library in Frankfort is celebrating the rerelease of Transylvania University English professor Richard Taylor’s novel “Girty” with a virtual event Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Published by the University Press of Kentucky, the book is based on the life of frontier renegade Simon Girty. Register and get the link for the online event.

A former Kentucky poet laureate, Taylor will read from and discuss his book and participate in an audience Q&A. First published in 1977, this is the book’s fourth printing.

Read today’s State Journal story, and check out this recent Accents Radio Show interview with Taylor:

Simon Girty was “one of the most hated men in early America,” according to the University Press of Kentucky. “The son of an Irish immigrant, he was raised on the western Pennsylvania frontier but was captured by the Senecas as a teenager and lived among them for several years. This able frontiersman might be seen today as a defender of Native Americans, but in his own time he was branded as a traitor for siding with First Nations and the British during the Revolutionary War. He fought fiercely against Continental Army forces in the Ohio River Valley and was victorious in the bloody Battle of Blue Licks.

“In this classic work, Richard Taylor artfully assembles a collage of passages from diaries, travel accounts and biographies to tell part of the notorious villain’s story,” the publisher continues. “Taylor uses the voice of Girty himself to unfold the rest of the narrative through a series of interior monologues, which take the form of both prose and poetry. Moments of torture and horrifying bloodshed stand starkly against passages celebrating beautiful landscapes and wildlife. Throughout, Taylor challenges perceptions of the man and the frontier, as well as notions of white settler innocence.”

Contact Diane Dehoney for more information on Tuesday’s “Girty: A Virtual Event with Author Richard Taylor.”