An Imperative Duty (Broadview Edition)

Overview

An Imperative Duty tells the story of Rhoda Aldgate, a young woman on the verge of marriage who has been raised by her aunt to assume that she is white, but who is in fact the descendant of an African-American grandmother. The novel traces the struggles of Rhoda, her family, and her suitor to come to terms with the implications of Rhoda's heritage. Howells employs this stock situation to explore the newly urgent questions of identity, morality, and social policy raised by "miscegenation" in the ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (2) from $15.45   
  • New (1) from $58.81   
  • Used (1) from $15.45   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$58.81
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(825)

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
Brand new and unread! Join our growing list of satisfied customers!

Ships from: Phoenix, MD

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

An Imperative Duty tells the story of Rhoda Aldgate, a young woman on the verge of marriage who has been raised by her aunt to assume that she is white, but who is in fact the descendant of an African-American grandmother. The novel traces the struggles of Rhoda, her family, and her suitor to come to terms with the implications of Rhoda's heritage. Howells employs this stock situation to explore the newly urgent questions of identity, morality, and social policy raised by "miscegenation" in the post-Reconstruction United States. The novel imagines interracial marriage sympathetically at a time when racist sentiment was on the rise, and does this in one of Howells's most aesthetically economical performances in the short novel form.
Appendices to this Broadview Edition include material on the "tragic mulatta" in literature, interracial marriage, the "science" of race in the nineteenth century, and Howells's literary realism.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
"Far from fussing over chipped china, the novella goes to the heart of the great American problem of race... This is a provocative subject, and the publisher has provided much useful material for help in understanding it: an introduction (by Paul R. Petrie), footnotes and a sheaf of appendices, including one that links 'An Imperative Duty' to a subgenre of 19th-century fiction: 'The Tragic Mulatta.' There is a big difference between other 'Tragic Mulatta' novels and this one, however: The other writers played the central situation for shock value, whereas Howells made it into art."

— Dennis Drabelle

The Washington Post - Dennis Drabelle
"Far from fussing over chipped china, the novella goes to the heart of the great American problem of race... This is a provocative subject, and the publisher has provided much useful material for help in understanding it: an introduction (by Paul R. Petrie), footnotes and a sheaf of appendices, including one that links 'An Imperative Duty' to a subgenre of 19th-century fiction: 'The Tragic Mulatta.' There is a big difference between other 'Tragic Mulatta' novels and this one, however: The other writers played the central situation for shock value, whereas Howells made it into art."
Gary F. Scharnhorst University of New Mexico
"This is a splendid classroom edition of a historically important yet underappreciated 'passing' novel as powerful as Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson. Published in 1891-92 at the nadir of race relations in the U.S., W. D. Howells's An Imperative Duty framed the debate over racial justice in ways that were remarkably progressive. Paul R. Petrie's introduction, supplemental readings, and critical apparata admirably contextualize the novel for modern readers."
Susan Goodman University of Delaware
"This sympathetic and carefully edited revival of An Imperative Duty should welcome a new generation of readers to Howells's impressive work. With its splendid introduction and meticulously chosen secondary materials, this book will delight general readers and prove a helpful resource to both teachers and scholars."
Dennis Drabelle
This is a provocative subject, and the publisher has provided much useful material for help in understanding it: an introduction (by Paul R. Petrie), footnotes and a sheaf of appendices, including one that links An Imperative Duty to a subgenre of 19th-century fiction: "The Tragic Mulatta." There is a big difference between other "Tragic Mulatta" novels and this one, however: The other writers played the central situation for shock value, whereas Howells made it into art.
—The Washington Post
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551119144
  • Publisher: Broadview Press
  • Publication date: 3/22/2010
  • Series: Broadview Editions Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul R. Petrie is Professor of English at Southern Connecticut State University.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
W.D. Howells: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
An Imperative Duty
Appendix A: Contemporary Reviews and Responses
Appendix B: The "Tragic Mulatta" in Literature
1. From Grace King, "The Little Convent Girl" (1893)
2. From Matt Crim, "Was It An Exceptional Case?" (1891)
3. W.D. Howells, "The Pilot's Story" (1860)
Appendix C: Interracial Marriage & the "Science" of Race
1. From Joseph-Arthur, Comte de Gobineau, Essay on the Inequality of Human Races (1853)
2. From J.C. Nott, Types of Mankind (1854)
3. From Frederick L. Hoffman, The Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro (1896)
4. Pace v. State of Alabama, 1883
5. From Henry W. Grady, "In Plain Black and White" (1885)
6. From Charles W. Chesnutt, "The Future American" (1900)
7. From W.E.B. Du Bois, "The Conservation of Races" (1897)
Appendix D: W.D. Howells's Theory of Realism ”The "Editor’s Study" Columns
1. May 1886 [Realism and Romance]
2. November 1886 [Aesthetics and Ethics]
3. April 1887 [Art, Truth, and Morality]
4. September 1887 [Realism and Democracy]
5. Dec 1887 [The Real and the Ideal Grasshopper]
6. March 1888 [Can Fiction Help the People It Depicts?]
7. December 1888 [Christmas Literature]
Select Bibliography
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)