Scarlett's Sisters: Young Women in the Old South / Edition 1

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Scarlett's Sisters explores the meaning of nineteenth-century southern womanhood from the vantage point of the celebrated fictional character's flesh-and-blood counterparts: young, elite, white women. Anya Jabour demonstrates that southern girls and young women faced a major turning point when the Civil War forced them to assume new roles and responsibilities as independent women.

Examining the lives of more than 300 girls and women between ages fifteen and twenty-five, Jabour traces the socialization of southern white ladies from early adolescence through young adulthood. Amidst the upheaval of the Civil War, Jabour shows, elite young women, once reluctant to challenge white supremacy and male dominance, became more rebellious. They adopted the ideology of Confederate independence in shaping a new model of southern womanhood that eschewed dependence on slave labor and male guidance.

By tracing the lives of young white women in a society in flux, Jabour reveals how the South's old social order was maintained and a new one created as southern girls and young women learned, questioned, and ultimately changed what it meant to be a southern lady.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Anya Jabour makes a compelling case in Scarlett's Sisters that age and generation are as important as class, race, and gender as categories of analysis, and that adolescent girls and young women are particularly situated to shed light on many of the questions southern historians have been debating for decades. . . . This important book should generate discussion. It is highly readable and clear, with many wonderful quotations.—Journal of American History

Thoughtful and well written. . . . [A] challenge to the popular dismissal of young women as worthy of separate historical study.—Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Extensive research into the personal papers of more than three hundred young women convincingly demonstrates the self-conscious nature of these girls' transformations.—Georgia Historical Quarterly

Well-written, provocative, and thoroughly researched. . . . Complicates the existing historiography and suggests a promising avenue of scholarship with its focus on female youth culture during the antebellum era.—Southern Historian

Nicely written, clearly argued, and complemented by good illustrations. . . . An admirable book with a strong argument that invites all historians of the nineteenth century South to rethink the confines of elite white womanhood.—North Carolina Historical Review

Excellent. . . . Compellingly written and intriguing. . . . Southern, women's and general historians should read [it].—Journal of Southern History

It is . . . Jabour's evocative account of the cultural complexities and paradoxes with which young southern women struggled in their becoming that makes Scarlett's Sisters such an important piece of scholarship.—Journal of American Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807859605
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,535,711
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Anya Jabour is professor of history at the University of Montana. She is author of Marriage in the Early Republic: Elizabeth and William Wirt and the Companionate Ideal and editor of Major Problems in the History of American Families and Children.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction Scarlett and Her Sisters: Young Women in the Old South 1

1 Young Ladies: Adolescence 17

2 College Girls: School 47

3 Home Girls: Single Life 83

4 Southern Belles: Courtship 113

5 Blushing Brides: Engagement 151

6 Dutiful Wives: Marriage 181

7 Devoted Mothers: Motherhood 215

8 Rebel Ladies: War 239

Epilogue Tomorrow Is Another Day: New Women in the New South 281

Notes 285

Bibliography 345

Index 369

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