In the New England Fashion: Reshaping Womens' Lives in the Nineteenth Century

Overview

In the first half of the nineteenth century, rural New England society underwent a radical transformation as the traditional household economy gave way to an encroaching market culture. Drawing on a wide array of diaries, letters, and published writings by women in this society, Catherine E. Kelly describes their attempts to make sense of the changes in their world by elaborating values connected to rural life. In her hands, the narratives reveal the dramatic ways female lives were reshaped during the antebellum ...

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1999 Hard Back First Edition New in Very Fine jacket Library of Congress Slight shopwear, remainder mark, loc copy, some edgewear to dj.

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Overview

In the first half of the nineteenth century, rural New England society underwent a radical transformation as the traditional household economy gave way to an encroaching market culture. Drawing on a wide array of diaries, letters, and published writings by women in this society, Catherine E. Kelly describes their attempts to make sense of the changes in their world by elaborating values connected to rural life. In her hands, the narratives reveal the dramatic ways female lives were reshaped during the antebellum period and the women's own contribution to those developments. Equally important, she demonstrates how these writings afford a fuller understanding of the capitalist transformation of the countryside and the origins of the Northern middle class.

Provincial women exalted rural life for its republican simplicity while condemning that of the city for its aristocratic pretension. The idyllic nature of the former was ascribed to the financial independence that the household economy had long provided those in the farming community. Kelly examines how the juxtaposition of rural virtue to urban vice served as a cautionary defense against the new realities of the capitalist market society. She finds that women responded to the transition to capitalism by upholding a set of values which point toward the creation of a provincial bourgeoisie.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801430763
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1999
  • Series: 12/1/2006
  • Pages: 258
  • Lexile: 1490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Ch. 1 It seems like a little paradise compared with the city 1
Ch. 2 All the work of the family 19
Ch. 3 Never was a separation so painful 64
Ch. 4 With joy I bear his name and pay the duties which his virtue claims 93
Ch. 5 Old people never believe in Love 127
Ch. 6 Simple ideals of living 162
Ch. 7 All the artificial barriers which society sometimes erects, appeared to be thrown down 188
Ch. 8 Joining anon in fashion's noisy din 214
Ch. 9 An elevated tone to the whole town 242
Index 253
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