John Hanson Mitchell
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Author John Hanson Mitchell's subject matter ranges from natural and human history, to travel, memoir, biography, and gardening. No matter what the subject, he has become best known for his incisive characterizations, his evocations of time and place, and his unique lyrical style.

The Scratch Flat Chronicles
"Scratch Flat is and was the world"
-New York Times Book Review

Tresspassing Living at the End of Time Ceremonial Time

Mitchell is the "discoverer", as he says, of a country within a country, a single square mile of land in eastern Massachusetts that was known as Scratch Flat in the nineteenth century. Starting with the now classic cult account Ceremonial Time (1984), Mitchell has written five books which use the same tract of land in one way or another to address the larger issue of what it means to be living on earth in our time. 

This singular patch of land, with its deep historical shadows, its farms, and its resident wildlife has been used for twenty years as the metaphorical hunting grounds for Mitchell's explorations. Onto the anomalous, changing landscape of Scratch Flat,  Mitchell has thrown virtually all his creative efforts to explore the themes which have obsessed him all his life - time, place, and the endurance of the natural world.  He is, in the style of his hero and mentor, Henry Thoreau, a traveler in his own land; he never gets far beyond his square mile, and yet, according to the New York Time's Book Review, his work has provided  a "comprehensive view of America, past, present - and future".

Based on the True Story of a Slave Who Sold his Master


Newest Work:

THe Sweet Revenge of Marcus Aurelius
Austin MacAuley, 2024

The Sweet Revenge of Marcus Aurelius is based on the true story of a talented and ingenious slave who sold his master. When he was still a young house boy, Marcus Aurelius was taught to read and write by the plantation owner's rebellious twelve-year-old daughter, who also instilled in him a passionate desire for freedom. She even encouraged him to escape, which he did - three different times - thus setting in motion his ultimate and sweetest revenge. His story, even without fictionalizing, is a wide-ranging, swash-buckling tale of a fittingly just revenge set against many venues: the cruelties and dehumanizing effects of plantation life, a year in a unique community of escaped slaves in the Great Dismal Swamp, Paris high society in the Second Republic, duels, an enduring love affair, bad dogs and violent slave catchers, crime-ridden New Orleans street life, and even a stint as a passenger on a pirate ship.