All-American Girl: The Ideal of Real Womanhood in Mid-Nineteenth Century America

Overview

Our image of nineteenth-century American women is generally divided into two broad classifications: the silly, languid, pale maidens who flirt and fawn and faint, and the alienated, steely proto-feminists who rule their worlds with a rigid back. This division of women into victims and revolutionaries has served the purposes of modern feminists well, allowing them to claim feminism as the only viable role model for women of the nineteenth century.

In All American Girl, however, ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $6.99   
  • New (1) from $70.55   
  • Used (6) from $6.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$70.55
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(213)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Our image of nineteenth-century American women is generally divided into two broad classifications: the silly, languid, pale maidens who flirt and fawn and faint, and the alienated, steely proto-feminists who rule their worlds with a rigid back. This division of women into victims and revolutionaries has served the purposes of modern feminists well, allowing them to claim feminism as the only viable role model for women of the nineteenth century.

In All American Girl, however, Frances Cogan identifies amid these extremes a third ideal of femininity: the “Real Woman.” Cogan’s Real Woman exists in advice books and manuals, as well as in magazine short stories whose characters did not dedicate their lives to passivity or demand the vote. Appearing in the popular reading of middle-class America from 1842 to 1880, these women embodied qualities that neither the “True Women”—conventional ladies of leisure—nor the early feminists fully advocated.

Intelligence, physical fitness and health, self-sufficiency, economic self-reliance, judicious marriage, and a balance between self and family were the goals of many of the period’s advice and fiction writers. These writers depicted characters who were educated, responsible, and energetic: heroines such as young Edna Earl, in the 1886 bestseller St. Elmo, who has at her command several classical languages, higher mathematics, and comparative religion and theology; the title heroine of Mrs. A. J. Graves’s 1844 story “Sarah Sherman,” who questions equality in marriage; or the young girl in an 1860 Harper’s short story who, “erect, and withscarcely an effort . . . glides along, skimming the surface like a yacht before the wind . . . now she increases the speed of her flight. Her skate-irons ring as she spurns the humming ice.”

Cogan also finds opinions in popular medical books and articles countering the advice of doctors who believed that women should curtail all physical activity from puberty onward. Writers such as Dr. Dio Lewis believed that “sickness is selfish,” and the outspoken William Blaikie lamented that many young women have “scrawny necks, pipe-stem arms, narrow backs, and a weak walk.” Stating that the medical profession was “incomplete and ineffective” without women, physiologist Samuel Gregory argued for higher education of women and insisted that a “medical education would be a most valuable qualification for the maternal head of a family.”

Though prevalent for almost half a century, Real Womanhood began to be absorbed by mainstream feminism after 1880, as changing views of femininity and women’s roles further polarized the sexes. Rediscovering this lost ideal of a fit, competent, yet caring womanhood, Frances Cogan’s All American Girl reveals a system of feminine values that demanded women be neither idle nor militant.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820310633
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 2/29/2000
  • Pages: 312

Meet the Author

Frances B. Cogan is a professor of literature in the Honors College at the University of Oregon, Eugene.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)