About the Texts

Descriptions of Maryland

In 1904, Bernard C. Steiner (1867-1926) published the annotated bibliography, Descriptions of Maryland, as part of a Johns Hopkins series in history and political science. Based in the holdings of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library, where he served as librarian, it remains a valuable guide to first-hand accounts of Maryland life from the beginnings of English settlement to the end of the nineteenth century.

Descriptions of Maryland: A Miscellany

Descriptions of Maryland: A Miscellany presents selections of works cited in Bernard Steiner’s Descriptions of Maryland and other references. In most cases, the works are not available elsewhere in digital format or are available only as page images.

Selections from The Entailed Hat — Selections from Katy of Catoctin

The selections from the 1884 novel, The Entailed Hat, portray life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1829, while the selections from 1886 novel, Katy of Catoctin, portray life and events in and near Maryland’s Blue Ridge during the Civil War era. Their author, George Alfred Townsend (1841-1914), had been a Civil War correspondent, and after the war travelled and lectured widely and attained a national following for his columns and essays. Townsend was intimately acquainted with Maryland’s regions and its peoples, and his portrayal of places and attitudes is usually remarkably accurate. (Please be advised, however, that Townsend’s works, especially The Entailed Hat, bluntly express the racial attitudes and prejudice of the era.) Townsend’s papers have been collected at the University of Delaware, and the home of his mature years, in the mountains west of Frederick, is now a Maryland state park.

Richard Carvel: A New Edition

The 1899 novel, Richard Carvel, is a historical romance set in Chesapeake Maryland and abroad during the revolutionary era. Written by American novelist Winston Churchill, it was the most widely read “novel of Maryland” of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries — indeed one of the most widely read novels of the era, and responsible in part for renewed interest in naval hero John Paul Jones.