Making the "America of Art": Cultural Nationalism and Nineteenth-century Women Writers

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Ohio State University Press, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 286 pages
"Making the "America of Art" demonstrates that beginning in the 1850s, women writers challenged the terms of the Scottish Common Sense philosophy, which had made artistic endeavors acceptable in the new Republic by subordinating aesthetic motivation to moral and educational goals. Harriet Beecher Stowe and Augusta Jane Evans drew on Ruskin to argue for the creation of a religiously based national aesthetic. In the postbellum years Louisa May Alcott, Rebecca Harding Davis, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, and Constance Fenimore Woolson continued the process in a series of writings that revolved around three central areas of concern: the place of the popular in the realm of high art; the role of the genius; and the legacy of the Civil War." "Sofer significantly revises the history of 19th-century American women's authorship by detailing the gradual process that produced women writers wholly identified with literary high culture at the century's end."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Harriet Beecher Stowes New School of Protestant Art
19
I Dedicate Myself Unreservedly to Art Agusta Jane Evans and Southern Art
65
Exorcising the Popular Woman Writer from The Domain of Pure Literature
105
Genius Gender and the Problem of Mentorship
139
The Civil War and the Making of the America of Art
178
Notes
225
Bibliography
273
Index
282
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