The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother's Extraordinary Fight against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times

The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother's Extraordinary Fight against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times

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by Ilyon Woo
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0802119468

ISBN-13: 9780802119469

Pub. Date: 08/10/2010

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.


Ilyon Woo’s The Great Divorce is the dramatic, richly textured story of one of nineteenth-century America’s most infamous divorce cases, in which a young mother single-handedly challenged her country’s notions of women’s rights, family, and marriage itself.
In 1814, Eunice Chapman came home to discover that her three children had

Overview


Ilyon Woo’s The Great Divorce is the dramatic, richly textured story of one of nineteenth-century America’s most infamous divorce cases, in which a young mother single-handedly challenged her country’s notions of women’s rights, family, and marriage itself.
In 1814, Eunice Chapman came home to discover that her three children had been carried off by her estranged husband. He had taken them, she learned, to live among a celibate, religious people known as the Shakers. Defying all expectations, this famously petite and lovely woman mounted an an epic campaign against her husband, the Shakers, and the law. In its confrontation of some of the nation’s most fundamental debates—religious freedom, feminine virtue, the sanctity of marriage—her case struck a nerve with an uncertain new republic. And its culmination—in a stunning legislative decision and a terrifying mob attack— sent shockwaves through the Shaker community and the nation beyond.
With a novelist’s eye and a historian’s perspective, Woo delivers the first full account of Eunice Chapman’s remarkable struggle. A moving story about the power of a mother’s love, The Great Divorce is also a memorable portrait of a rousing challenge to the values of a young nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802119469
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
08/10/2010
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
8.44(w) x 11.06(h) x 1.29(d)

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Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother's Extraordinary Fight against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
PennyWhistle More than 1 year ago
The main character, Eunice Chapman, is not entirely sympathetic, but the story is fascinating and touches on the history of Shakers, New York, women, marriage and family, family law, and even literature and newspapers. This is so well researched that the notes and source notes are worth reading. The author does a lovely job of creating a readable narrative out of all these threads. She gives cogent synopses of large background subjects such as Shaker theology or American legal precedent. My comments make this sound dry, but it is not. The emotions of these early nineteenth century people come through. Every collection on the Shakers should own this, as it presents a very balanced view and one a bit different from the usual hagiography. Highly recommended.