SIU Department Name | Page Title

siu logo siupress logo

SIU logo


Main Content Area

Land Between the Rivers

Land Between the Rivers

The Southern Illinois Country

Add to Cart

C. William Horrell, Henry Dan Piper, John W. Voigt


208 pages, 8.5 x 11, 309 illustrations


Additional Materials

About the Book

Situated between the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the Southern Illinois country is rich in history, folk­lore, scenery, and natural resources. At about the latitude of southern Virginia, and extending from the flat prairie farm­land of central Illinois to the rugged Illinois Ozarks, the area is the natural terminal boundary for hundreds of plant species reaching out to all points of the compass. It is also the oldest and most sparsely populated part of Illinois, a region of small towns and independent people.
Surveying the area in words and pic­tures, the authors sensitively and appre­ciatively portray the region’s special qualities. Land Between the Rivers, a perennial classic since it was first published in 1973, provides an uncommon portrayal of American life in a distinct region, a memorable journey in both time and place.


C. William Horrell was instrumental in establishing the Department of Cinema and Photography at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). During Horrell’s lifetime, his photographs appeared in many major metropolitan newspapers and a variety of popular and specialty magazines, including Life, Pic, Youth,and Friends. He died in 1989.

Henry Dan Piper, a former chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project before switching to the study of literature, was the dean of the College of Liberal Arts at SIUC and, later, a professor of English. He died in 1999.

John W. Voigt was a professor of botany at SIUC for four decades. He was the author of many books and articles, including Plant Communities of Southern Illinois (with Robert H. Mohlenbrock; SIU Press). He died in 1990.


Land Between the Rivers is a smoothly written, well-printed, and beautifully illustrated folio volume about southern Illinois. Written, illustrated, and otherwise put together by a photographer, a professor of English, and a botanist, the final product is an informal history, a social commentary, and a tourist-oriented description of the southern fourth of the state.”Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

“‘Magnificent’ is the only way to describe this handsome, 200 pagepictorial essay of Southern Illinois. This large pictorial book, with over 300 photos, takes you on an arm­chair visit to many of the scenic and historic sites, as well as small town life, in the south­ern one-fourth of the state known as South­ern Illinois.”—Illinois Baptist

“Lying in an area bordered by the Wabash, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers, the Southern Illinois country is rich in history, folklore, scenery and natural resources. It is the small­est and most sparsely populated part of Illinois, a region of small towns and inde­pendent people, typical of the vast mid-American region of which it is a part—the heartland of the U.S.A.—but with unique qualities, features, and attitudes which the authors movingly describe in pictures and words. . . . Included is a survey of the region’s topo­graphic and other features—an area of ten thousand square miles; a description of the Indian past, dating back some ten thousand years and more; the region’s main economic activities—farming, lumbering, mining, manufacturing and recreation. An uncom­mon and beautiful portrayal of American life in a distinctive region, the book thus pro­vides a memorable journey both in time and place.”—Newsletter to Libraries

“This book is so superbly done it be­longs on the book shelves of all those who have an interest in Illinois.”—Illinois Wildlife