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  • Illustrations ix

    Preface and Acknowledgments xi

    Chronology xix

    Abbreviations xxvi

    Prologue: A Passion for Books 1

    1. The Author of Hobomok 16

    2. Rebels and "Rivals": Self Portraits of a Conflicted Young Artist 38

    3. The Juvenile Miscellany: The Creation of an American Children's Literature 57

    4. A Marriage of True Minds: Espousing the Indian Cause 80

    5. Blighted Prospects: Indian Fiction and Domestic Reality 101

    6. The Frugal Housewife: Financial Worries and Domestic Advice 126

    7. Children's Literature and Antislavery: Conservative Medium, Radical Message 151

    8. "The First Woman in the Republic": An Antislavery Baptism 173

    9. An Antislavery Marriage: Careers at Cross Purposes 195

    10. The Conditions of Women: Double Binds, Unresolved Conflicts 214

    11. Schisms, Personal and Political 249

    12. The National Anti-Slavery Standard: Family Newspaper or Factional Organ? 267

    13. Letters from New York: The Invention of a New Literary Genre 295

    14. Sexuality and Marriage in Fact and Fiction 320

    15. The Progress of Religious Ideas: A "Pilgrimage of Pennance" 356

    16. Autumnal Leaves: Reconsecrated Partnerships, Personal and Political 384

    17. The Example of John Brown 416

    18. Child's Civil War 443

    19. Visions of a Reconstructed America: The Freedmen's Book and A Romance of the Republic 487

    20. A Radical Old Age 532

    21. Aspirations of the World 573

    Afterword 608

    Notes 617

    Works of Lydia Maria Child 757

    Index 773
  • "A monumental scholarly achievement."—Joan Hedrick, author of Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life — N/A

    "The definitive biography of a major figure in American literary and political history.—Richard Slotkin, author of Gunfighter Nation — N/A

    "This is a magnificent book. Child’s character emerges as a model for what a woman can be."—Jane Tompkins, author of West of Everything — N/A

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  • Description

    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.

    About The Author(s)

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

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