Hungry Heart

Hungry Heart

by Gary Williams
     
 
Hungry Heart reexamines the early literary career of Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), best remembered as the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Combining biographical narrative with textual analysis, Gary Williams reconstructs Howe's emergence as a writer against the backdrop of her deeply troubled marriage to Boston philanthropist Samuel Gridley Howe. Among her

Overview

Hungry Heart reexamines the early literary career of Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), best remembered as the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Combining biographical narrative with textual analysis, Gary Williams reconstructs Howe's emergence as a writer against the backdrop of her deeply troubled marriage to Boston philanthropist Samuel Gridley Howe. Among her early writings, Williams pays particular attention to Passion-Flowers, a celebrated yet controversial volume of poems published in 1854, as well as to an unpublished 400-page story that features a hermaphrodite as its protagonist. Williams shows how this latter work, startling in its bold exploration of sexual ambiguities, reflects Howe's effort to come to terms with her husband's intimate attachment to the prominent abolitionist Charles Sumner. The result is a fascinating cultural biography that not only enhances Howe's reputation as a writer but also enriches our understanding of the middle-class world of Victorian New England.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
Using close readings of selected texts and a reconstructed account of Julia Ward Howe's early married life, Williams creates a portrait of a poet far more troubled and daring than the iconic author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Recommended.
Booknews
Combines biographical narrative with textual analysis to examine the early literary career of Ward-Howe (1819-1910), best known for writing Battle Hymn of the Republic. Looking particularly at her 1854 collection of poems, Passion-Flowers and an unpublished 400-page story with a hermaphrodite as protagonist, reconstructs her literary emergence against the backdrop of her troubled marriage to a Boston philanthropist. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558498020
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
12/15/2010
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
0.65(w) x 9.00(h) x 6.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Paula Bennett
In surfacing long ignored manuscript writings by Julia Howe, in particular her novel, Lawrence, Williams has greatly expanded the known frontiers of women's sexual knowledge (and literary transgressiveness) in the antebellum era.

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