Lydia Maria Child: The Quest for Racial Justice

Overview


Lydia Maria Child presents the life of the dynamic nineteenth-century writer who, through her pen and at great personal cost to her literary career, spoke out for those silenced in society -- slaves, Native Americans, women, and the poor. At the dawn of the 1830s, Lydia Maria Child was a celebrated author, known for her popular domestic handbook, The Frugal Housewife, and Hobomok, a novel of American Indian life. In 1833, with the publication of her controversial Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called...
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Overview


Lydia Maria Child presents the life of the dynamic nineteenth-century writer who, through her pen and at great personal cost to her literary career, spoke out for those silenced in society -- slaves, Native Americans, women, and the poor. At the dawn of the 1830s, Lydia Maria Child was a celebrated author, known for her popular domestic handbook, The Frugal Housewife, and Hobomok, a novel of American Indian life. In 1833, with the publication of her controversial Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans, Child's life changed dramatically from literary figure to antislavery activist. Her Appeal helped ignite the abolitionist movement, and several antislavery leaders -- including Wendell Phillips and Charles Sumner -- credited it with converting them to the cause. An inspirational look at an extraordinary woman, Lydia Maria Child is the story of how one person fought for the basic human right of freedom -- for all.

Oxford Portraits are informative and insightful biographies of people whose lives shaped their times and continue to influence ours. Based on the most recent scholarship, they draw heavily on primary sources, including writings by and about their subjects. Each book is illustrated with a wealth of photographs, documents, memorabilia, framing the personality and achievements of its subject against the backdrop of history.

A biography of the popular writer who, in the mid-nineteenth century, gave up her literary success to fight for the abolition of slavery, for women's rights, and for the fair treatment of American Indians.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This addition to the Oxford Portraits series introduces a woman who is little know but immensely interesting....Kenschaft's well-written text, helped by black-and-white photographs and pictures and cartoons of the period, may entice students to read on; it captures both a woman and her times." -- Booklist

"Lydia Maria Child's life and accomplishments are outlined in this dense text....[Child's} literary achievements, rocky marriage, and bots with depression are portrayed honestly....Excerpts from Child's work and black-and-white reproductions will engage those who perservere." --The Horn Book Guide

"When people think of women writers leading the struggle for equality, most think of Harriet Beecher Stowe. But they should also think of Lydia Maria Child. A popular author of domestic handbooks, she made the decision in 1883 to write a 'scathing indictment of slavery'.... Lori Kenschaft tells the life story of America's first professional woman writer to speak out for Black slaves, American Indians, women, and the poor." -- NEA Today

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-A profile of the remarkable 19th-century author and abolitionist. Child overcame both societal and family expectations to become a successful and influential writer, and was the first woman to edit a children's magazine, pen a "domestic manual" for women with limited incomes, and write a regular newspaper column about urban life. Kenschaft explains how Child became increasingly aware of the evils of slavery and discrimination, and sacrificed her commercial success to publish treatises calling for abolition of slavery in the South and better treatment of the free blacks in the North. After the Civil War, she supported women's and Native American rights. Although the author points out her subject's weaknesses, she is admiring of Child's efforts to overcome a difficult marriage and poverty to fight for her beliefs. Plenty of background material is given about slavery, the Civil War, and the societal strictures under which women of the day labored. Excerpts from Child's work are provided in sidebars. Average-quality, black-and-white illustrations and photos supplement the text. This well-done book will give young people an opportunity to learn more about one woman and the ideals for which she stood.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195132571
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Series: Oxford Portraits Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lori Kenschaft is an American historian with a special interest in the history of social change. She has taught at Boston University and is currently teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She earned her Ph.D in American Studies at Boston University.

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