Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers

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As the American literary canon has undergone revision and expansion in recent years, the influence of women writers of the nineteenth century has been reevaluated. The first book of its kind, this reference provides alphabetically arranged entries for more than 70 nineteenth-century American women writers, such as Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Fuller, Emma Lazarus, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Each entry is written by an expert contributor and includes a biography, a discussion of the author's major works and themes, an overview of the critical studies examining the writer's works, and a bibliography of works for further consultation.

The nineteenth century gave birth to some of the richest works in American literature. For decades, nineteenth-century authors such as Hawthorne, Melville, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman have been considered the dominant figures of the period, and other writers have received much less attention. But the scope and focus of American literary studies has shifted dramatically in recent years, and mainstream anthologies have been revised to reflect changes in the canon. One of the most exciting changes has been the reassessment of the contributions of American women writers of the nineteenth century. Some of these women, such as Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe, are fairly well known. Others, such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, have been the subject of much recent critical attention. But despite the resurgence of interest in American women writers of the nineteenth century, resources for readers have remained widely scattered.

This reference book is the first work of its kind to offer comprehensive entries on more than 70 American women writers who published during the nineteenth century. Featuring authors who have long been assimilated into the literary canon as well as once-popular writers who have largely been forgotten, this volume invites a critical reassessment of the contributions of these writers to American literary history. Entries are written by expert contributors and are arranged alphabetically to facilitate access. Each entry includes a biographical sketch, a discussion of the writer's major works and themes, an overview of the critical response to the writer, and a bibliography of works by and about the writer. To encourage additional research, the volume closes with a bibliography of significant studies of nineteenth-century American women writers.

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Editorial Reviews

This reference guide to 77 American women writers includes fiction writers, poets, autobiographers, abolitionists, and essayists. Writers were chosen for their contribution to the social, historical, cultural, and economic climate of the 19th century. Each entry contains a biography of the writer's personal life, a discussion of her major works and themes, the critical reception of her work, a two part bibliography which features works by and studies of the author, and a list of further references. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313297137
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/1997
  • Pages: 550
  • Lexile: 1390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

DENISE D. KNIGHT is Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies in English at the State University of New York, Cortland. She is the author of several books, including Writers of the American Renaissance: An A-to-Z Guide (Greenwood, 2003), Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Study of the Short Fiction (1997), and Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook (Greenwood, 1997), and coauthor of Contemporary Lesbian Writers of the United States: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook (Greenwood, 1993).

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Table of Contents

Louisa May Alcott 1
Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta 11
Maria Gowen Brooks (Maria del Occidente) 15
Frances Hodgson Burnett 19
Alice Cary 26
Phoebe Cary 32
Caroline Chesebro' (Caroline Chesebrough) 36
Lydia Maria Child 42
Kate Chopin 50
Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe (Dame Shirley) 61
Rose Terry Cooke 66
Ina Donna Coolbrith 73
Anna Julia Cooper 77
Maria Stisanna Cummins 81
Rebecca Harding Davis 88
Emily Dickinson 99
Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar-Nelson 111
Emma Embury 118
Fanny Fern (Sara Payson Willis Parton) 123
Kate Field 131
Martha Finley (Martha Farquharson) 135
Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman 139
Margaret Fuller 150
Charlotte Perkins Gilman 160
Anna Katharine Green 168
Sarah Pratt McLean Greene 173
Grace Greenwood (Sara Jane Clarke Lippincott) 180
Angelina Grimke 186
Sarah Grimke 190
Sarah Josepha Hale 194
Gail Hamilton (Mary Abigail Dodge) 199
Marion Harland (Mary Virginia Hawes Terhune) 206
Frances E. W. Harper 213
Caroline Lee Whiting Hentz 220
Marietta Holley (Josiah Allen's Wife) 224
Mary Jane Hawes Holmes 231
Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins 236
Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins 241
Julia Ward Howe 247
Helen Hunt Jackson 253
Harriet A. Jacobs (Linda Brent) 262
Sarah Orne Jewett 270
Grace Elizabeth King 281
Caroline Kirkland 286
Lucy Larcom 293
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (Mother Mary Alphonsa) 297
Emma Lazarus 301
Maria Jane McIntosh 305
Adah Isaacs Menken 310
Anna Cora Ogden Mowatt (Ritchie) 314
Mary Noailles Murfree (Charles Egbert Craddock) 318
Elizabeth Oakes Smith 324
Frances Sargent Locke Osgood 331
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps 336
Henrietta Cordelia Ray 343
Lizette Woodworth Reese 347
Catharine Maria Sedgwick 351
Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney 361
E. D. E. N. Southworth (Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth) 368
Harriet Prescott Spofford 377
Ann Sophia Stephens 386
Maria Stewart 392
Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard 397
Harriet Beecher Stowe 406
Ruth McEnery Stuart 414
Octave Thanet (Alice French) 420
Celia Laighton Thaxter 426
Metta Victoria Fuller Victor 433
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward 438
Susan Warner 452
Frances Miriani Berry Whitcher 463
Sarah Helen Whitman 468
A. D. T. Whitney (Adeline Dutton Train Whitney) 474
Augusta Jan Evans Wilson 479
Harriet E. Wilson 484
Sally S. Wood 490
Constance Fenimore Woolson 495
Bibliography 505
Index 511
About the Editor and Contributors 527
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