Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore: Southern Women in the Civil War Era / Edition 1

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This dynamic history focuses on the women, black and white, rich and poor, who made up the fabric of southern life before the war and remade themselves and their world after it.

Positing the household as the central institution of southern society, Edwards delineates the inseparable links between domestic relations and civil and political rights in ways that highlight women's active political role throughout the nineteenth century. She draws on diaries, letters, newspaper accounts, government records, legal documents, court proceedings, and other primary sources to explore the experiences and actions of individual women in the changing South, demonstrating how family, kin, personal reputation, and social context all merged with gender, race, and class to shape what particular women could do in particular circumstances.

Meet Harriet Jacobs, the escaped slave who hid in a tiny, unheated attic on her master's property for seven years until she could free her children and herself. Marion Singleton Deveaux Converse, the southern belle who leaped out a second-story window to escape her second husband's "discipline" and received temporary shelter from her slaves. Sarah Guttery, a white, poor, unwed mother of two, whose hard work and clean living earned her community's respect despite her youthful transgressions. Aunt Lucy, who led her fellow slaves in taking over her master's abandoned plantation and declared herself the new mistress.

Through vivid portraits of these and other slaves, free blacks, common whites, and the white elite, Edwards shows how women's domestic situations determined their lives before the war and their responses to secession and armed conflict. She also documents how women of various classes entered into the process of rebuilding, asserting new rights and exploring new roles after the war.

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What People Are Saying

Jacquelyn Hall
Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore is an unusual and invaluable book that offers our first synthesis of a vibrant new literature on southern women. Laura Edwards is at the forefront of efforts to broaden the meaning of politics, link the so-called private with the public sphere, and challenge the assumption that southern women remained politically passive--and thus historically uninteresting--until they belatedly followed their northern sisters into the twentieth-century women's movement.
—(Jacquelyn Hall, author of Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World)
Peter Bardaglio
This is a lively and compelling portrait of southern women during a time of tremendous upheaval. . . . Edwards helps not only to restore women to their proper place in history but also to alter the way in which we think about this crucial period in our nation's past.
—(Peter Bardaglio, author of Reconstructing the Household: Families, Sex, and the Law in the Nineteenth-Century South)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252072185
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 703,780
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments   Ix
    Introduction    1
    PART 1 BEFORE   9
  2. Privilege and Its Price    15
  3. The Myth of Male Independence   32
  4. The Dilemmas of Womanhood in Slavery    48
    PART 2 DURING   65
  5. Embracing That Which Would Destroy Them    71
  6. Fighting Any Longer Is Fighting against God    85
  7. For the Freedom of the Colored People     100
    PART 3 AFTER   117
  8. Talking for Her Rights    125
  9. We Is Poor but We's Proud   149
  10. This Is New and Disagreeable Work to Us All    171
Epilogue    187
Notes   191
Bibliography    233
Index     265
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2000

    The Real Emancipation

    The author professionally tackles an important bit of United States history which deserved scholarly scrutiny. Laura Edwards presents her carefully documented findings in a way that is easy to read and understand. My copy has a waiting list for borrowers.

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