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“R” is for Ravenel, Beatrice (18790-1956)

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“R” is for Ravenel, Beatrice (18790-1956). Poet, journalist. A Charleston native, Ravenel studied at the Harvard Annex (later Radcliffe College). Widowed in 1920, she turned to writing to support herself. Ravenel produced poetry—some of it splendid--and short stories. The stories were mostly derivative and plot heavy, although one, “The High Cost of Conscience,” was published in the first volume of the O. Henry Memorial Short Stories. Through the Poetry Society of South Carolina, Ravenel met poet Amy Lowell who championed and encouraged her. Her poetry in the 1920s reveals a broad intellectual outlook and a warm sensual glow. In 1969 a book of her poems (edited by Louis Rubin) was published—and in the ensuing years scholars and critics began to claim Beatrice Ravenel as the best poet of the Charleston Literary Renaissance.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.