Although Roy Bedichek published less than his more famous friends J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb, he wrote voluminously and, many say, with more distinction than the others. In addition to his four published books, Bedichek produced a great number of letters through which he communicated his broad interests and deep learning to a wide variety of correspondents.
Prefaced by a biographical sketch, this volume presents a collection of Bedichek letters that give us an insight into his literary and creative development—from his earliest years through his career at the University of Texas and on into his later years. They include letters to his closest associates, J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb, and to many old friends, such as William A. Owens, John A. Lomax, and John Henry Faulk. Also included is Bedichek's correspondence with other contemporaries, not all old friends, among them Texas Governor James Ferguson, the recipient of some of Bedichek's most trenchant criticism. Throughout this collection, Bedichek's sparkling wit and profound learning are evident as he discusses his favorite subjects, among them ecology, education, literature, politics, and history, frequently related to Texas.
When Roy Bedichek gave his collection of letters to the Barker Collection in the University of Texas Library, he designated William A. Owens as the authorized editor of the letters, with the restriction that none of them be published until seven years following his death, which came in 1959.