William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, with Jefferson as its county seat, is both a mythical and actual place. Yoknapatawpha county is 2400 square miles in area and has a population of 15,611 persons. Jefferson has an actual jail, town square, old houses, and Old Frenchman's Place, even a railroad. Faulkner's "Yoknapatawpha County" is in reality Lafayette County, and "Jefferson" is actually Oxford. The Faulkner family lived there since before the Civil War. This is where most of his stories take place. He pondered the family history and his own personal history; and he used both in writing his stories. (American Writers; 54)
Faulkner born in New Albany, Mississippi in 1897. In 1902 they moved to Oxford ("Jefferson"), the seat of the University of Mississippi. His father, Murray C. Falkner, (the u was added to the family name by the printer who set up William's first book, The Marble Faun) ran a livery stable and a hardware store. Later he became business manager of the University. Maud Butler was his mother and Murray, John, and Dean were his three brothers. (American Writers; 55a) Faulkner's great-grandfather was William C. Falkner. He was born in 1825. He was a legendary figure in Northern Mississippi. Many details of his life have shown up in Faulkner's writings. He was twice acquitted of murder charges. He was a believer in severe discipline and was a colonel of a group of raiders of the Civil War. He began as a poor youngster trying to take care of his widowed mother, but ending his career as the owner of a railroad and a member of the state legislature. He was killed by his former railroad partner shortly after he had defeated the other for a seat in the legislature. There is a statue of William C. Falkner facing his railroad today. (American Writers; 55b) J. W. T. Faulkner was a lawyer, a banker, and assistant United States attorney. He was an active member of "rise of the "rednecks"", the...
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