UT Retiree Linda Behrend and UT Press Present a Compelling Knoxville Memoir

Category: Communities


In her memoir, Of Time and Knoxville: Fragment of an Autobiography, Anne Wetzell Armstrong (1872–1958) depicts a vibrant late-Victorian Knoxville. Retired UT librarian Linda Behrend researched and edited this treasured history. She speaks eloquently on Armstrong’s importance to the Knoxville community and what the endeavor has meant to her:

Of Time and Knoxville tells Armstrong’s story of growing up in Knoxville: living on Clinch Avenue near ‘the Hill,’ attending Girls’ High School on Union Avenue, shopping on Market Square, going to Second Presbyterian Church (which at that time was downtown), and visiting Bleak House on Kingston Pike (the son of whose owner she later married).

“I had always wanted to be a writer, and now that I am retired, I finally have time. Look for Of Time and Knoxville—in the library or a local bookstore. You’ll learn a lot about Knoxville history!”

Linda Behrend
Cover of Of Time and Knoxville

Former director of UT Press Scot Danforth extols the memoir’s historical and local significance:

“Armstrong presents a ravishing picture of late Victorian Knoxville, with portraits of influential people, like business owner Perez Dickinson and suffragist Lizzie Crozier French, and a fine-grained detail of Market Square at what was arguably the city’s high-water mark. While Armstrong loved the city that nurtured her, she was clear-eyed about its shortcomings and the disasters that sometimes befell it—none more spectacular than the Flat Creek train wreck of 1889, which seriously injured her own father.

“For many reasons, this is the perfect publication for the University of Tennessee Press. While many of its books have a national scope, the press’s core mission in its nearly 85-year history has always had a regional and even local focus.”