The First Woman in the Republic: A Cultural Biography of Lydia Maria Child

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Duke University Press, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 804 pages
For half a century Lydia Maria Child was a household name in the United States. Hardly a sphere of nineteenth-century life can be found in which Lydia Maria Child did not figure prominently as a pathbreaker. Although best known today for having edited Harriet A. Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, she pioneered almost every department of nineteenth-century American letters—the historical novel, the short story, children's literature, the domestic advice book, women's history, antislavery fiction, journalism, and the literature of aging. Offering a panoramic view of a nation and culture in flux, this innovative cultural biography (originally published by Duke University Press in 1994) recreates the world as well as the life of a major nineteenth-figure whose career as a writer and social reformer encompassed issues central to American history.
 

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THE FIRST WOMAN IN THE REPUBLIC: A Cultural Biography of Lydia Maria Child

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A close look at a 19th-century author and abolitionist that integrates her personal life, her work, and the eventful period in US history during which she lived. Karcher (English, American Studies ... Read full review

The first woman in the republic: a cultural biography of Lydia Maria Child

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New Englander Child (1802-80) was foremost among social activists of the 19th century who, while working for rights denied to them, also fought against the genocide of the Indian and the enslavement ... Read full review

Contents

The Author of Hobomok
16
Self Portraits of a Conflicted
38
The Creation of an American
57
Espousing the Indian Cause
80
Indian Fiction and Domestic Reality
101
Financial Worries and Domestic Advice
126
Conservative Medium
151
An Antislavery Baptism
173
Sexuality and Marriage in Fact and Fiction
320
A Pilgrimage of Penance
356
Reconsecrated Partnerships Personal
384
The Example of John Brown
416
Childs Civil War
443
The Freedmens Book
487
A Radical Old Age
532
Aspirations of the World
573

Careers at Cross Purposes
195
Double Binds Unresolved Conflicts
214
Schisms Personal and Political
249
Family Newspaper
267
The Invention of a New Literary Genre
295
Afterword
608
Notes
617
Works of Lydia Maria Child
757
Index
773
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About the author (1994)

Carolyn L. Karcher is Professor of English, American Studies, and Women's Studies at Temple University.

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