Stella Brewer Brookes's study of the life and work of Joel Chandler Harris was published in 1950. Brookes examines how Harris drew on his extensive knowledge of African American folklore and culture to create the characters in his work. Brookes classifies the Uncle Remus books under seven major categories: trickster tales, other "creeturs," myths, supernatural tales, proverbs, dialect, and songs.
Perceptive and humane herself, no better interpreter of Uncle Remus as folklorist could possibly be found than Dr. Stella Brewer Brookes. Her systematic analysis of the material as Trickster Tales, Myths, Proverbs, Sayings, and Folksong serves to enhance the essential cleverness and poignancy of Harris' renderings of these plantation tales. Her book will bring a new appreciation of Harris to the general reading public: it should be in every library.
--A. H. Gayton "Former President of the American Folklore Society "
We cannot well have too great a body of affectionate tribute to Joel Chandler Harris by those competent to appraise his talents, and we welcome a volume such as Mrs. Brookes'. . . . In classifying the stories into trickster tales, myths, supernatural tales, proverbs, dialect, and songs Mrs. Brookes is anything but a mere cataloguer. . . . The compilation of proverbs or homely sayings from the stories is enough to make the reader glad to have come across this addition to the store of books on the South's beloved Joel Chandler Harris.
--Journal of Southern History
Joel Chandler Harris-Folklorist is a valuable book from every viewpoint. In it Ms. Brookes' scholarship and knowledge of her subject are obvious, yet she is never pedantic. On the contrary, her book is full of interest and charm.
--Julia Collier Harris
Her book is quite original, perhaps the first of its kind concerning the works of Joel Chandler Harris. . . . Brookes has written a very interesting and attractive account of the development of Harris as a folklorist and a detailed analysis of all his works as published, objectively described and without comment. . . . This book will receive warm welcome from the folklorist as well as from the general reader.
--Journal of American Folklore
The lovable Joel Chandler Harris gets his due in this book. How he got his story is here made into a very interesting story. It strictly belongs on the Uncle Remus shelf.
Stella Brewer Brookes' Joel Chandler Harris-Folklorist meets a long existent need in the study of Southern folklore and literature. Joel Chandler Harris had an ear for dialect, but he had also what every great folklorist must have, namely, an understanding of and a spiritual kinship with the people whose folklore he was expressing. Mrs. Brookes' book is a very fine contribution to folklore literature.
Joel Chandler Harris-Folklorist is a modest, honest piece of scholarly work, with an affectionate enthusiasm for its subject and with insight into the human significance of its material.
Uncle Remus is by far the richest and most outstanding folk character that America has given the world. People interested in American folklore, particularly Negro folklore, will be grateful to the author of Joel Chandler Harris-Folklorist. Stella Brewer Brookes has brought together, in an economical way, all that is to be said on the subject.