Antislavery Discourse and Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Incendiary Pictures

Overview

Antislavery Discourse and Nineteenth-Century American Literature examines the relationship between antislavery texts and emerging representations of “free labor” in mid-nineteenth-century America.  Husband shows how the images of families split apart by slavery, circulated primarily by women leaders, proved to be the most powerful weapon in the antislavery cultural campaign and ultimately turbaned the nation against slavery.  She also reveals the ways in which the sentimental narratives and icons that ...

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Overview

Antislavery Discourse and Nineteenth-Century American Literature examines the relationship between antislavery texts and emerging representations of “free labor” in mid-nineteenth-century America.  Husband shows how the images of families split apart by slavery, circulated primarily by women leaders, proved to be the most powerful weapon in the antislavery cultural campaign and ultimately turbaned the nation against slavery.  She also reveals the ways in which the sentimental narratives and icons that constituted the “family protection campaign” powerfully influenced Americans’ sense of the role of government, gender, and race in industrializing America. Chapters examine the writings of ardent abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, non-activist sympathizers, and those actively hostile to but deeply immersed in antislavery activism including Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In an important and ground-breaking book, Husband has corralled a compelling basket of texts and arguments to support her case. There is much here for the amateur and the professional scholar alike."—Larry Hudson, Department of History, University of Rochester

“The writers Husband treats in Antislavery Discourse and Nineteenth-Century American Literature are the co-creators of our present progressive political discourse, their issues our issues: health care, diversity, civil rights…She understands the complexity and constraint of sentimentalist plots and logics in their writing, especially as they struggle to address their urgent social issues.”—Neil Schmitz, Professor of American Literature, SUNY-Buffalo

“A welcome fresh look…Tracing the afterlife of antislavery discourse beyond the Civil War, Husband succeeds in illuminating both the continuities between the ‘maternalist politics’ of antebellum and Progressive-era women reformers and the ‘paradigm shift’ Frederick Douglass initiated in civil rights agitation by rejecting sentimental images of broken families for embodiments of black masculinity.”—Carolyn L. Karcher, author of The First Woman in the Republic: A Cultural Biography of Lydia Maria Child

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230621480
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/15/2010
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Husband is Associate Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. She is co-author with Jim O’Loughlin of Daily Life in the Industrial United States: 1870-1900 and has published articles on a range of American authors.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
• The Emergence of the Family Politics Campaign and Antislavery Sentimentality
• Marketplace Politics in The Scarlet Letter
Lydia Maria Child and the Mothering State
• The Invisible Hand of the Marketplace: E.D.E.N. Southworth’s Southern Reforms
• “The White Slave of the North”: Lowell Mill Women and the Evolution of “Free Labor”
• The End of Antislavery Sentimentality: Frederick Douglass’s Post-Civil War Performance of Masculinity

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