If you live in the Carolinas, you know there are two Beauforts—one in North Carolina and one in South Carolina. Both are coastal towns. Both date back to early colonial days. Both are named after Henry Somerset, the Second Duke of Beaufort.
So go ahead. Pronounce Beaufort.
If you realize that’s a trick, you’re probably from the Carolinas.
The town in North Carolina is pronounced BOH-fert, a long O sound like Beauregard. It’s the English pronunciation just as Mr. Somerset would have said his title.
But the town in South Carolina is pronounced BYOO-fert, a U sound like beautiful. The pronunciation traces its history back to the French Huguenots who immigrated to South Carolina after France outlawed Calvinism in the 1600’s.
That French influence pops up regularly in the Low Country. One of author Brett Lott’s main characters who appears in several of his books is Huger Dillard.
Did you pronounce that first name correctly?
A little extra trivia for you this week.
The background image for this week’s title is the Old Sheldon Church located near Beaufort SC. Originally built as Prince William Parish Church, it was burned by the British during the Revolutionary War, partially because it was used for military purposes by the Colonies.
After sitting in ruins for years, the church was rebuilt only to be burned again by General Sherman during the Civil War.
Or was it?
Historians have begun to question whether the church was burned a second time. Sherman certainly claimed he burned it, but that may have been nothing more than propaganda. Letters have been discovered that suggest the church was not burned a second time, but that locals, desperate for supplies, removed parts of the church to rebuild their own homes post-war.
Another historical mystery which will probably never be solved for sure.
Books I’m Reading
I don’t normally highlight nonfiction books I read. Nor do I read many celebrity books. Greenlights is an exception.
The book is built from years of journals McConaughey kept, assembled into a free-flowing thoughts of how he approaches life. It’s not really a memoir, though he shares tales from his youth. Rather, it’s snippets of ideas, woven together almost as free-form poetry.
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Bookstore Sales Fell 28.3% in 2020—Brick-and-mortar bookstores saw a precipitous decline of $2.5 billion in sales during our pandemic year. Of course, some sales simply shifted online. As we turn the corner with this disease, it will be interesting to see which stores rebound and which don’t. I would expect many independent stores will do well, but some large chains will struggle.
The History of the Bookworm—Ever wondered how the word “bookworm” originated? You’re in luck.
Gratuitous Dog Picture
His Highness Little Prince Typhoon Phooey hangs out near my desk in the prime location—on the mat for comfort and with the perfect view of the marsh out the windows. It’s good to be royalty—at least in his fuzzy mind.
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