Hungry Heart

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...
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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attention to Passion-Flowers, a celebrated yet controversial volume of poems published in 1854, as well as to an unpublished 400-page story that features a hermaphrodite as its protagonist.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.
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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 Looking particularly at her 1854 collection of poems, Passion-Flowers and an unpublished 400-page story with a hermaphrodite as protagonist, reconstructs her literary emergence against the backdrop of her troubled marriage to a Boston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.
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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)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 "The Thought of What I Have Undertaken Weighs upon Me": Early Writing and the Decision to Marry 12
2 "Sumner Ought to Have Been a Woman": Learning to Live in a Triangulated Marriage 40
3 "The Internal Fire That Consumes": The 1840s, Motherhood, and the Necessity of Writing 66
4 "Between Extremes Distraught and Rent": The Second Trip to Rome and the Seeds of Passion-Flowers 106
5 "Ye Shall Listen Now": Passion-Flowers and the Poetics of Defiance 134
6 "Down the Bitter River She Dropped": Words for the Hour and The World's Own 171
Notes 215
Index 269
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