Women's Humor in the Age of Gentility: The Life and Works of Frances Miriam Whitcher

Women's Humor in the Age of Gentility: The Life and Works of Frances Miriam Whitcher

by Linda A. Morris
     
 

Cloaked in anonymity, Frances Miriam Whitcher wrote brilliant social satire in the mid-1800s, exposing hypocrisy and pretentiousness in village society throughout the Northeast. This new book demonstrates that her sardonic, antisentimental wit represents an entirely different strain in women's writing of the time, earning her an important role in the emergence of a…  See more details below

Overview

Cloaked in anonymity, Frances Miriam Whitcher wrote brilliant social satire in the mid-1800s, exposing hypocrisy and pretentiousness in village society throughout the Northeast. This new book demonstrates that her sardonic, antisentimental wit represents an entirely different strain in women's writing of the time, earning her an important role in the emergence of a distinctive tradition of women's humor in America. Whitcher was the first American woman to write a highly popular series of humorous sketches in the tradition of the Yankee yarn-spinner. Whitcher's sketches were featured in Neal's Saturday Gazette and Godey's Lady's Book. Her collection of sketches, published posthumously as The Widow Bedott Papers, earned best-seller status from the date of its publication in 1855 until the end of the 1880s, when "The Widow Bedott" was played on the New York stage by Neil Burgess. Although widely read, much admired, and very influential in her own era, Whitcher has until recently been virtually forgotten in ours. Morris's study should help to rescue her writings and perhaps earn for Whitcher a new readership.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Whitcher (1812-1852) was a brilliant social satirist whose sketches exposed hypocrisy and pretentiousness in village society throughout the Northeast. In this biography, Morris demonstrates that Whitcher's sardonic, antisentimental wit represents an entirely different strain in women's writing of the time, earning her an important role in the emergence of a distinctive tradition of women's humor in America. Includes one complete eight-page story. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815625629
Publisher:
Syracuse University Press
Publication date:
08/01/1992
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
256

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