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Florida Enchantments

By AW Dimock
Photography by Julian Dimock

- eBook 308 pages
- 120 vintage black & white images
- First published by The Outing Press (1908)
- eISBN: 978-0-9883852-0-7 

 

eBook $4.99 

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Florida Enchantments

From the acclaimed author of The Book Of The Tarpon, comes another collection of A.W. Dimock’s essays and adventures from a century ago. 

Florida Enchantments was first published in 1908 when the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands were still reeling from the rampant slaughter of herons, egrets, and alligators for their plumage and hides. While Dimock didn’t take part in the poaching, his notions of conservation were still a bit crude by today’s standards. 

Dimock was working primarily as a writer during the time, but he was also earning commissions from museums, zoos, and aquariums that were eager to exploit the wondrous creatures of the Florida swamps, rivers and estuaries. Of note: these were hardscrabble times when people ate and profited from whatever was accessible, and there are graphic depictions within this book of Dimock “collecting” species that have since been protected for generations.

Beyond Dimock’s hunting and subsistence stories, he includes a collection of colorful vignettes about fly fishing, moonshiners, hurricanes, outlaws, and the embattled Seminoles. He tells of grueling treks by canoe (and foot) from Everglade City to Miami, and an ill-fated mission to Lake Okeechobee with a drunken Indian scout. With stunning clarity, he transports us to a time when the heat, mud, snakes, and mosquitoes were not minor nuisances that could be easily avoided.

Accompanying Dimock’s writing is a remarkable collection of vintage photography shot by his son, Julian. What he accomplished beneath a black hood with a wobbly tripod and glass plates is reason enough to own this book.

 

Anthony Weston Dimock (1842-1918)

Born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, AW Dimock moved to New York as a young man and made a fortune in commodities and finance before leaving Wall Street to explore and write about the American wilderness. He spent time in the west, traveling and documenting the ranching and Indian cultures, but he is best known for his adventures in Southwest Florida. His classic The Book Of The Tarpon (1911) is a pioneering and definitive work, and a favorite among anglers and sportsman worldwide.

 

Julian Dimock (1873-1945)

Was born in New Jersey and traveled widely across the United States, taking photographs on his own and as part of many scientific and sporting expeditions. Dimock abruptly ended his photography career in 1918 upon the death of his father, his frequent traveling companion and collaborator.