8 September 2010

Karen White and Folly Beach, South Carolina: Southern Literary Tour, Part Two: #15

This novel is another example of the Lowcountry sub-genre of Southern literature, and as such is peppered with names of places in the area, and around Folly Island in particular, where it is almost exclusively set. It alternates between the years of the Second World War and the present, is much concerned with bottle trees, romantic manuscript research, and Nazi spies off the coast of the barrier islands of the Carolinas.

Folly Island is about a twenty-minute drive from Charleston, and the picturesque Morris Island lighthouse is in Charleston Harbor, at the north-eastern extremity of the island. It features prominently in On Folly Island. A leaflet written by Jim Booth, of Save the Light, Inc., reveals that the lighthouse's foundations are damaged and calls for donations. Years of beach erosion worsened the situation when jetties were built at Charleston.

The first lighthouse was built on Morris island in 1767, another one was built in 1838, and work on the present one, which stands at 158 feet, was begun in 1872. In 1962 it was decommissioned and replaced by a new one at Sullivan's Island. Save the Light, Inc. bought Morris Island lighthouse in 1999, although the State of South Carolina now has title to it and leases it to the organization for fundraising, etc.

Typical beach houses on Folly Island.

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