Karen Cox, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
"Wells is engaged in recovery work. By attending to the little-examined work of southern women journalists and editors, Wells reveals a diverse literary world in which southern women made the case for intellectual equality with men and thus laid the foundation for later claims to political equality. Drawing on a rich and diverse evidentiary base, Wells argues cogently and persuasively."
Sarah E. Gardner, Mercer University
"Ambitious and highly original, Jonathan Wells's lucidly written and clearly argued book charts new paths in understanding how women shaped Victorian America. Based on a wide reading of a dazzling array of sources, Wells uncovers a rich world of black and white female writers and readers - a world, until now, largely unknown. This is an important addition to the social and cultural history of the nineteenth-century South."
William A. Link, University of Florida
"Jonathan Wells's Women Writers and Journalists in the Nineteenth-Century South is an important contribution to southern intellectual history and southern women's history. By mining the rich trove of southern periodical literature, Wells charts the evolution of white and black women as editors and writers from their earliest beginnings as poets, novelists, and printers, through their growing role in Civil War journalism, to the public acceptance of journalism as a career path. This invaluable study complicates our understanding of southern women's intellectual lives, highlights southern women's growing influence on public opinion, and convincingly argues the critical connections between southern women's work as journalists with the emergence of the southern women's rights movement. Deeply researched, well written, and convincingly argued, the book is a landmark study and a must-read for southern and women's historians alike."
Michele Gillespie, Wake Forest University
"Wells's study will be useful to historians and literary scholars as they further their understanding of the nineteenth century."
Kathryn B. McKee, The Journal of American History
"Wells provides some new questions, some new answers, and a very useful source for historians of southern women to consider in the future."
Janet L. Coryell, The Journal of Southern History
"Wells has gone deeper than previous scholars in uncovering lost tales about extant and surviving magazines and newspapers in the South and the women who created and sustained them."
Jan Whitt, The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
"Wells's book is an example of how journalism history should be carried forward - soundly rooted in history and drawing strength from other disciplines."
Kathleen L. Endres, American Journalism
"Wells offers valuable insight on the question of why the South, a region typically associated with conservative ideals, accepted women participating in these traditionally male activities ... Wells offers a strongly documented study that informs readers of significant contributions women made to the South's intellectual life. He illustrates how, by simply writing and publishing journals, newspapers, and magazines, Southern women pushed the boundaries of what many Southerners considered acceptable for women."
Edward McInnis, Ohio Valley History