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    978-0-8223-1954-2
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    978-0-8223-1949-8
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  • "Child’s writings are very impressive—and pertinent to the debates of our own day on race, sexual difference, gender, work, and education. Students will find them fascinating, a revelation. Karcher establishes Child as one of the foremost intellectuals of the nineteenth century, a compelling author of an extraordinary range of books and articles on a host of subjects."—William E. Cain, Wellesley College — N/A

    "One rarely sees a body of documentation as richly varied in important themes. This is a cross-disciplinary treasure, especially since so many of Child’s concerns foreshadowed issues now central to our time."—Sterling Stuckey, University of California, Riverside — N/A

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  • Description

    From the 1820s to the 1870s, Lydia Maria Child was as familiar to the American public as her Thanksgiving song, "Over the river and through the wood, / To grandfather’s house we go," remains today. Hardly a sphere of nineteenth-century life can be found in which Child did not figure prominently as a pathbreaker. She crusaded against slavery and racism, combated religious bigotry, championed women’s rights, publicized the plight of the urban poor, and campaigned for justice toward Native Americans. Showing an uncanny ability to pinpoint and respond to new cultural needs, Child pioneered almost every category of nineteenth-century American letters—historical fiction, the short story, children’s literature, the domestic advice book, women’s history, antislavery fiction, journalism, and the literature of aging.
    This rich collection is the first to represent the full range of Child’s contributions as a literary innovator, social reformer, and progressive thinker over a career spanning six decades. It features stories, editorials, articles, and letters to politicians culled from rare newspapers and periodicals and never before published in book form; extracts from her trailblazing childrearing manual, history of women, and primer for the emancipated slaves; and a generous sampling of her best-known writings on slavery, the Indian question, poverty, and women’s rights. Witty, incisive, and often daringly unconventional, Child’s writings open a panoramic window on nineteenth-century American culture while addressing issues still relevant to our own time. In this anthology, the editor of Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl reemerges in her own right as one of the nation’s greatest prophets.

    About The Author(s)

    Carolyn L. Karcher is Professor of English, American studies, and women’s studies at Temple University and author of The First Woman in the Republic: A Cultural Biography of Lydia Maria Child also published by Duke University Press.

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