We used to wonder if it was possible to fall in love with a series of books.
Now, we know that you can, and that series is The Foxfire Books by Eliot Wigginton.
What Are The Foxfire Books?
The Foxfire Books bring the customs of the Southern Appalachian Mountains alive and they make them accessible to everyone, no matter where they live.
The first volume of this 14 volume series (plus a couple of anniversary editions which round up some of the most exciting information from the rest of the series and give it a polish and a new slant) was published in 1972.
We think it’s fair to say that in the following years, it’s become a true American Institution.
They are, in fact, compendiums of the information found in the Foxfire Magazine which was first published back in 1966.
The magazine began as a project to encourage Eliot Wigginton’s students to write.
It would, however, take on a life of its own as the students went out to talk to relatives, community members and more about the minute details of day-to-day life and the lifestyle, culture, crafts and skills of those people.
The magazines collected “how to” content (chicken coops) alongside first person narratives, Appalachian folklore and the oral history of the region.
The Foxfire Fund
The magazine is still in print and the books are still in print too.
They’ve been so successful that the students of Eliot Wigginton have been able to fund the Foxfire Fund.
That’s a non-profit educational and literary trust that operates out of Rabun County in the state of Georgia.
They use Appalachian teachings to promote sustainable, self-reliant and self-reflective living in the modern world.
More recently, they’ve also founded a museum on Black Rock Mountain!
It’s a tribute to Appalachian culture and students were involved in moving and reconstructing many of the exhibits.
Last Word on the Foxfire Books
We think it’s hard to find a better series of books to fall in love with than The Foxfire Books. Not only will they improve your life but, in turn, your purchase will improve the lives of others.
That’s a proper virtuous circle.
You can find the Foxfire Books (complete collection) online.
If you find the sheer volume of Foxfire Books overwhelming then you might want to start with The Backyard Homestead.